Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted a high-level committee to reach a consensus on the HEC (Amendment) Bill, 2023 aimed at reducing the powers of the commission.
Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain and Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq are the co-chairmen of the five-member body while Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman and state minister for communication are its members.
Sources claimed that contrary to its terms of reference (TORs), the panel had not sought any input from the HEC on the amendment.
According to a notification, PM Shehbaz had formed a high-level committee to create a consensus on the HEC (Amendment) Bill 2023.
The draft for the amendment bill was forwarded by the law ministry.
Issuing the TORs, it was said that the panel would review the HEC (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The committee would propose whether the amendments are necessary for effective functioning of the organisation and regulation of the HEC sector.
It would further advise on the timing and sequencing of the amendment.
Sources said that the meeting of the committee was scheduled the previous day but was postponed as the required number of members was not present despite the fact that the premier had sought recommendations within 15 days.
Sources further said that consultation with the HEC regarding amendment in the bill was included in the TORs.
However, the HEC officials were not aware of the previous day’s meeting.
The education ministry, a couple of months ago, had moved a summary to the federal government for making changes to the HEC’s ordinance.
The proposed changes also included re-composition of the HEC governing board and delegation of some powers to the education minster by the premier.