Flouting the norms, the Punjab Engineering College (PEC) University of Technology, Chandigarh, made payment of around Rs 97 lakh as transport allowance to its teachers and non-teaching staff, staying outside campus in the period from 2006-07 to 2013-14, without taking the mandatory approval from the UT administration.
Besides, on purchase of personal computers or laptops, the teachers also got the irregular reimbursement of Rs 32.85 lakh from the university.
The Indian audit and accounts department has indicted the PEC over making irregular payments in its latest report.
According to the report, the PEC board of governors (BOG) vide an office order dated October 27, 2006, sanctioned the transport allowance to Group A,B, C and D employees of the university residing outside the campus with effect from October 1, 2006.
Further, vide office order dated January 7, 2013, the BOG in its 37th meeting on August 9, 2012, allowed the conveyance allowance to PEC employees on the Punjab pattern as adopted by the UT administration.
Pertinent to mention that the UT vide a letter dated May 31, 2011, had granted the conveyance allowance to certain categories of employees and covered some other categories vide letters dated June 22, 2011, February 14, 2012 and March 2, 2013.
The audit report says, “…the PEC authorities had granted the transport allowance (TA) as per the decision dated October 27, 2006, of the BOG, which was never sanctioned by the administration (UT administration) and the order dated May 31, 2011, ibid were implemented without understanding its facts and applicability to their employees because the orders were for granting of conveyance allowance to some categories and not for transport allowance.”
“Thus, in the absence of the prior approval from the administration and the ministry of human resource development, the grant of Rs 97.62 lakh transport allowance - from 2006-07 to 2013-14 - was irregular,” says the report.
On being pointed out in the audit, the PEC stated that it was the BOG decision to allow the travelling allowance.
“The reply is not acceptable as it is clearly mentioned in the memorandum of the association - Punjab Engineering College Memorandum of Association - and bye-laws that the institute should modify rules with the approval from the administration and the ministry of human resource development through notification, which was not obtained,”says the audit report.