KP cabinet okays Rs1.5bn fee waiver initiative for college students.

PESHAWAR -- The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Tuesday approved the Rs1.5 billion Insaf Taleem Card programme to waive the feeof all college students in the province for one year.

It also approved a proposal to increase the wheat support price from Rs2,600 per 40kg to Rs3,000 per 40kg to 'encourage growers and achieve the goal of wheat self-sufficiency.'

The cabinet met with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair and ministers and administrative secretaries in attendance.

Higher education minister Kamran Khan Bangash and special assistant to the chief minister Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif later told reporters that the provincial government would pay all college fees of around 260,000 students enrolled in the province's all 275 degree and 42 commerce colleges.

Wheat support price also increased to encourage crop cultivation

Mr Bangash said the fee waiver would be given to the students of both general and commerce colleges.

He said the initiative would cost the province Rs1.5 billion to be utilised to pay fees for intermediate and bachelor's classes.

'We [government] will bear admission, tuition and other costs of all students of intermediate as well as two semester fees of those enrolled in bachelor's programmes,' he said.

The minister said the Insaf Taleem Card programme had been appreciated by both parents and students as it would benefit families from middle and lower middle classes.

The cabinet also approved the World Bank's National Health Support Project (NHSP) for strengthening primary healthcare in the province, according to Mr Saif.

He said the NHSP allocations for the province totalled $72.7 million, including $50.9 million loan and $21.8 million grant.

The CM's aide said the cabinet approved the revision of forest duty on various forest produce to achieve the enhanced revenue targets and increase timber rate on the local market.

He said the 'forest duty' on blue pine had been enhanced from Rs40 per cubic feet to Rs50 per cubic feet and on chir, fir, spruce, chilghoza, Quetta pine and conifer trees from Rs35 per cubic feet to 40 per cubic feet.

Mr Saif added that the duty was last revised in 2015.

He said the cabinet also approved the inclusion of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in the schedule of the Environmental Protection Act, 2014.

The convention was signed on Oct 10, 2013, and ratified in Dec 2020 to protect human health and environment from 'anthropogenic' carbon emission and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.


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