To gather money to pay its staff and end the deadlock, the management of Gian Sagar Medical College is selling its properties and offering discounts to parents for early payment of next session’s fee.
Punjab medical education secretary Hussan Lal told HT that three land deals were going to bring the college enough money to end the crisis and be sustainable. “The management has assured the state government that it will close one of the deals worth Rs 4 crore by Monday or Tuesday and then pay the protesting staff at least two months of pending wages,” he said. Teachers haven’t gone to work since February 25.
On Friday, Hussan Lal asked them to resume classes, since the college had agreed to pay the rest of the salary by the end of this month after getting money from the land deals. However, the staff wanted this money before resuming the classes. Since the college shut its doors on them even on Friday, they continued their protest at the gates.
Hussan Lal is confident of an early end to the crisis. However, asked about the future sustainability of the college, he said that financial mishandling and shuffling the management twice in the past two years had led to the crisis. “The college has overstaffed its administrative wing. It makes about Rs 40 crore from fee and other sources, while its salary bill is not more than Rs 24 crore. The revenue also come from the hospital. Financial prudence, which looks possible, will help it regain its strength,” he said.
The medical education secretary claimed that the college has good infrastructure and the government wanted it to continue.
Parents have no faith
To the students holding government-quota seats, the college has offered Rs 5,000 discount on the advance payment of next session’ fee by April 15. The discount is Rs 10,000 for management-quota students, as their fee runs into several lakh rupees. A similar offer has been extended to the dental science students of both categories. Parents, however, are apprehensive of paying the fee until the crisis is over.
“Our confidence in the college is all-time low,” said a parent, UP Singh, adding: “If the crisis continues, we will pay the fees only to Baba Farid University on the assurance of refund in case the deadlock persisted.”