Patiala: Founded about 55 years for the promotion of Punjabi language, Punjabi University in these days facing worst financial crunch as it has no money even to disburse salaries to its employees and since few months salaries have not been paid in time.
Virtually put on ventilator as Punjab government stopped special grant; no money for employee salaries
Highly-placed sources in the university on the condition of anonymity said that the financial burden of the university has surpassed to Rs 140 crore and its condition is said to be like on ventilator as the state government has stopped paying off the grants to it. Sources added that its amply clear as the University in its budget of 2016-2017 session has mentioned a deficit of Rs 130 crore and during this year, it will go upwards and affect the financial condition of the university as well.
When asked why the state government has done so, sources confided that the state government has taken such a harsh step as the university authorities are not ready to go with the advice of the state government and also not fully following the University Grants Commission (UGC)’s norms.
It is learnt that the university is getting over draft from banks about Rs 50 crore every month out of which Rs 27 crore are disbursed in shape of salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff whereas another amount of Rs 35 crore is paid in shape of pensions of retired employees. On the other hand the university employees are also started mounting pressure on the university authorities to give the account for new pension scheme as they apprehend such amount has used somewhere else by the university authorities.
As far as mobilisation of its resources is concerned, the university is not in a position to increase the fees meant for the students as it will affect the number of the students then. In such circumstances, the university is heavily depending on the state government to get the financial special grants to run its system but such attitude invites the undue political interference in the university’s affairs. If sources to believe then there are many department’s in the university which are over staffed but under the political pressure, more new posts are being created by starting new courses.
On the other hand the state government even as ready to help out the university to come out of the financial deficit’s quagmire, but it has laid down some conditions before the university authorities. Under these conditions the state government has instructed the university authorities not to give reemployment to any of its retiree employees, freezing of the over time facility provided to its non- teaching employees and a comprehensive plan to tackle the increasing financial burden.
It may be mentioned here that the state government has approved a special grant of Rs 50 crore for the university out of which it has to get Rs 25 crore in the year 2016-17 and rest in 2017-18 and in the November 2016 the government has released an amount of Rs 13 crore and rest of Rs 12 crore was held up as the university is not following the dictates of the state government concerning the conditions put forth by the state government.
Meanwhile, sources added that the university authorities only accepted one condition from three conditions put forth by the state government’s finance department as it freezed the over time of its non-teaching employees but silent on others.
Sources said that the persons whom the university has re-employed include Dr Jamshed Ali Khan, Dr S S Bhatti, Gurmail Singh, Dr Chandan Singh (Computer Science Department), Dr Gurmit Mann, Dr Sunita Dhir, Gurcharan Singh, Dr Dazzy Walia, Dr Joga Singh and many others in various department from teaching and from non-teaching Varinder Sood, Chaman Lal and many others again joined duties in the university. Sources added that these reemployment is also adding into the financial woes of the university. Sources claimed that a total of about 80 teachers and about 10 non-teaching employee’s are reemployed and this reemployment is costing the university Rs 7 crore annually.
According to the Vice-Chancellor of the University Dr. Jaspal Singh, the talks with the state government were on and on February 6 a meeting with the state finance officials have been held and they have summoned the university registrar and the finance officer on Monday and hoped to get some kind of relief.
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