Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan Thursday said that the Education Card would benefit 244,000 students enrolled in government colleges of the province. The scheme includes waiver of the entire tuition fee and would cost approximately Rs 1 billion to the provincial exchequer. In a statement issued here, the chief minister said that the Education Card was a unique project of the provincial government which would prove to be an encouraging initiative in promoting higher education in the province. The chief minister stated that investment in human capital was of paramount importance and was one of the pivotal agendas of the incumbent government adding that visible steps had been taken in that regard to ensure promotion of Higher Education in the province. The chief minister reiterated that the reforms and initiatives of the provincial government had started yielding positive results and public trust in government educational institutions had been restored. Mahmood Khan clarified that a number of steps had been taken to ensure that the educational institutions in the province were made fully functional. In this regard, 76 colleges had been upgraded whereas 37 new colleges had been established in the province to provide uniform access to educational facilities. The establishment of Pak-Austria Fachhochshule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology at Haripur is another milestone achieved by the provincial government towards promotion of education in the sector of applied sciences as per contemporary needs.