Forty-three government colleges in Gujranwala Division are being run without heads and senior teachers due to which teaching, academic and administrative activities are being affected there.

Despite repeated appeals made by the local social, educational and political circles, no appointment has so far been made by the Education Department to fill these prolonged vacant posts. As 56 posts including those of principals and senior teachers have been lying vacant in the colleges of Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts.

According to senior officials of the colleges, 14 posts of principals and senior teachers have been lying vacant in 14 government colleges in Gujranwala district, 15 in Sialkot, 4 in Hafizabad, 3 in Mandi Bahauddin and seven posts in Narowal district.

The situation is causing diversion of the students to the private colleges as the educational and academic system is getting poor day by day. Thus, the students are forced to join the private colleges to avert the loss being caused to their future.

According to Gujranwala Division Director Colleges Ghulam Sarwar Sipra, the department has already sent recommendations to the government for the approval and appointments on the above-mentioned vacant posts. On the other hand, the department has also approved the tenders for the purchase of furniture for 21 boys and girls' government colleges in the division.

Sipra said that the Punjab government had released special funds of Rs49.2 million to ensure early supply of furniture to the colleges.

SCCI opposes plan to hike tax by 3pc

The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has expressed grave concern over Federal Board of Revenue's proposed plan to increase sales tax on exports of five sectors from 2 percent to 5 percent.

SCCI President Fazal Jillani said that the proposed 5 percent sales tax on the exports of textile, surgical, carpet, sports and leather will have destructive effect on the sectors. It would add to the existing woes of the exporters and the industries. He added that the 3 percent proposed increase would not be acceptable for the exporters as it will crush the exports. Jillani said that the proposal should not be taken while the government should take the business community on board. He further added that the export sector is further burdened with high power and gas tariffs which have made it very hard and difficult for the Sialkot exporters to compete in the international markets. The increase in sales tax would further enhance the grievances of enterprises.

The SCCI President added that on one hand, the government encouraged the export industry to boost the foreign exchange earnings and on the other hand, it is planning unpleasant steps which would not only affect their efficiency but also let down their morale. The government should make business-friendly policies so that they could focus on the increase of exports which would ultimately result in the progress of the country, he concluded.

Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested an alleged human trafficker namely Shehzad Asif from a den near Mandi Bahauddin. It also recovered a number of passports, medical certificates, diplomatic documents and fake official stamps of different embassies.

According to the Sikandar Hayyat Malik, the deputy director of FIA Gujranwala, the accused was named in FIA's Red Book and wanted in several cases of human trafficking. The accused had been running illegal business of sending innocent people abroad especially to Turkey, Greece, Qatar, Iran, Europe and Kuwait illegally after extorting handsome amounts from them. The FIA has sent the accused behind bars after registering separate cases against him.