The failure of the Punjab government in issuing allocated funds to Punjabi University has caused a delay in the payment of salaries of April to its teaching and non-teaching employees.
However, this is for the second time in the past three months that the university authorities have failed to pay salaries to their employees on time.
As many as 4,000 employees have been waiting to get their salaries since May 1 but the authorities have failed to do so.
As per available information, with no money in its kitty, the university has been awaiting its quarterly grant of worth `15 crore for months of April to June from the Punjab government.
Besides, funds from the last financial year amounting to `Rs 4 crore is still pending.
Sources in the university revealed that besides taking overdraft from the bank, the authorities got their grant worth `10 crore allocated for constituent colleges in March, which helped them to pay salaries to their employees for month of February and March.
One of the senior faculty members said it seemed that delaying payment of salaries had become a routine feature of the university authorities.
Despite repeated attempts, university registrar AS Chawla and finance officer Dr Baljeet Singh Sidhu remained incommunicado.
Teachers submit memorandum
Teachers under the banner of the Democratic Teachers' Front met vice chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh and handed over a memorandum regarding their demands to release their salaries at the earliest.
Convener of the front Jaswinder Singh Brar said employees, including teaching and non-teaching cadres, had been facing a lot of difficulties due to delay in making monthly payments to them.
Besides it, the front demanded that the university authorities should roll back their decision to reduce interest rate on provident funds, to release 20% pending arrears of 43 month, to deposit pending dearness allowance either in employees GPF account or give them in cash and to release pending mobile allowance of 14 months. "The VC has assured us that our salaries for April will be released in coming two to three days," Brar said.
Problem likely to persist
With hardly any financial assistance from the state government, releasing salaries on time may become a Herculean task for the university authorities due to constant increase in salaries of teaching and non-teaching employees.
As per the budget released by the authorities in March this year, around `41.71 crore will be spent on giving salaries to non-teaching employees against `31.80 crore last year.
In case of teaching employees, against `118 crore last year, the university is going to pay `185 crore in the coming year.
The university is expecting `63.08 crore, including annual grants of `48 crore from the state government.