LAHORE - Educationists demanded of the government to allocate at least 4 per cent of the GDP for the education in the upcoming budget. They said the dream of universal primary education could not be fulfilled by 2015 without investing in education. They said literacy and basic education are backbone of a progressive society. These views were expressed in a seminar on Promotion of Literacy and Elementary Education held at a local hotel here on Monday. Vice Chancellor of Punjab University Prof Mujahid Kamran, Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi, Jamil Najam, Prof Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal and others who spoke on the occasion. Col (r) Ikram Ullah introduced the guest speakers and the topic. The speakers expressed deep concern over the performance of previous and present governments for not considering education on their priority list. They also expressed disappointment over the practice of not totally utilising the allocated budget for teachers training in Punjab. One of the speakers revealed that allocated amount of Rs 350 million had not been completely utilised for teachers training in Punjab and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif should take notice of the matter. They quoted the report of Human Development Index, which mentioned Pakistan standing in literacy at a lower stage even among the countries of Asia. They said sustainable development could not be achieved without focusing on the basic education. It was also suggested that bulk of the funds should be placed at the disposal of the union councils and they should be given the task of initiating a powerful education movement at gross root level while the whole operation should be handled by highly committed monitoring team. The role of civil society was also felt to put pressure on the government for the promotion of literacy and elementary education in the country.