The audit report of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department has indicted the Panjab University (PU) for not imposing a fine of Rs 4 core on contractor who was allotted the construction of multipurpose gymnasium hall on the south campus, Sector 25.
The latest audit report for 2013-14 says that the estimates for the construction of the multipurpose gymnasium were prepared for Rs 40 crore on the basis of plinth area rate after calling tenders on September 5, 2011.
The work was allotted to successful bidder — M/s Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd — on February 13, 2012, for the sum of Rs 39.70 crore. As per terms and conditions of the contract agreement, the work was to be completed within 12 months (February 2013) from the date of written order issued. However, as per 24th running bill (March 2015) the total expenditure on the work was Rs 11.82 crore which works out to be only 30% of the total cost of the work.
The report says: “Due to delay in completion of the work, the authority failed to provide the intended benefits to the student. Further, the authority was giving time extension to the contractor without any reasons which was irregular. The executive engineer had not levied compensation to the tune of Rs 4 crore for slow pace of work…”
EXCESS EXPENDITURE DUE TO CHANGE OF SCOPE OF WORK
In the construction of the new phase of the girls’ hostel number 9, the scope of work was later increased which included dining hall, furniture, boundary wall, electrical works and fire fighting equipment.
The audit report says that scrutiny of records of the varsity executive engineer revealed that the work was allotted to M/s Bhardwaj Bros, Panchkula, on August 13, 2012, for a sum of Rs 4.86 crore. As per the terms and conditions, the work was to be completed in February 2014 where as per the 10th running bill (March 2014), the total expenditure on the work was Rs 6.08 crore which, resulted in excess expenditure of Rs 1.21 crore.
OVERPAYMENT TO GPF/CPF SUBSCRIBERS
The Union ministry of human resource and development had advised in February 2004 to all autonomous bodies/universities under its jurisdiction that interest on general provident fund (GPF) and contributory provident fund (CPF) at the rate higher than notified by the government should not be paid. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had reiterated in April 2004 that the less interest can be paid depending upon the financial position of the institution, but higher rate of interest cannot be paid.
During test check of records of GPF/CPF for the year 2013-14, it was noticed that the university had paid interest at higher rate of 9.25% against the rate of 8.70% from April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, fixed by the government of India to the GPF/CPF subscribers. This resulted in excess payment of Rs 99.12 lakh to GPF subscribers and rs 75.89 lakh to CPF subscribers.
NON-ADJUSTMENT OF ADVANCES OF Rs 13.39 CR
As per provisions of account manual 2012 of the university, advances for urgent department and official purposes may be sanctioned by the competent authority. All advances shall, as far as possible, be settled before the end of financial year before March 31 of every year. The audit finds that during the scrutiny of records, 381 advances involving amounts of Rs 13.39 crore issued up to March 31, 2014, were pending adjustment even up to February 2015.
INSUFFICIENT MOBILISATION OF INTERNAL RESOURCES
The committee on UGC funding of higher education in its report of 1992-93 recommended that universities/educational institutions must generate internal resources in continuation of getting funds from the government/UGC. The internal resources should be sizeable in course of time and must constitute at least 15% of the total recurring expenditure at the end of five years and at least 25% per cent at the end of 10 years. It further recommended that for generating internal resources, fee for library, laboratory, sports should be revised upwards to recover a significant part of recurring cost and hostel fees should be revised to meet all the actual recurring cost and in due course of time a part of capital cost as well. But the audit finds that even after a lapse of 20 years, the university was able to generate internal resources varying from 0.54% to 0.86% in the case of library fee and 5.08% to 6.37% in the case of hostel fees of recurring expenditure there.