PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday concluded its budget session, giving approval to Rs 603 billion budget for fiscal year 2017-18 and Rs 47.2 billion supplementary budget for the outgoing 2016-17. The House approved all the demands for grants for the 43 departments/sectors to meet their requirements in the fiscal year 2016-17. The opposition members took back all their cut motion after seeking answer for their queries from the ministers concerned. Earlier, Sardar Hussain Babak of the Awami National Party (ANP) grilled Minister for Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani, asking him to inform the House about his department’s progress in providing access to higher education. “We faced very difficult circumstances in our term due to natural disasters and militancy, but still we built nine universities in the province. How would Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which, took vote in the name of change, compare itself with the ANP in contribution to the field of higher education?” he asked. Responding to the points raised by the ANP legislator, Adviser to CM for Higher Education Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani told the House that when they assume power, there were only 180 colleges and 20 management sciences colleges in the province. “By next year, there will be 300 such colleges,” he said. He said that the provincial government, besides elementary and secondary education, was also concentrating on the promotion of higher education and had established separate women-only universities in Mardan and Charsadda, while technical university was also being established in Nowshera. In response to the proposal of the establishment of the board of governors on the pattern of schools, the adviser to the CM said that the provincial government was working on the formation of a college council and providing them grants. He said that for the encouragement of the college principals, the government had approved an allowance of Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 for them. He said that the department had been constituting quality insurance units in colleges and providing them funds, and after June, such units would be established in more colleges. Regarding the introduction of BS programme in colleges, the adviser said that initially it was started in 36 colleges, but next year it was extended to 100 colleges, and then it would be extended to 200 colleges of the province. He said that according to the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the existing BA/BSc programmes would be fizzled out.