Post-matric scholarship: PU’s ₹21 crore still pending with Punjab government
The varsity is expecting to face a revenue gap of Rs 31 crore under the income heads of examination fee and income from hostel during the financial year 2020-21.Updated: Nov 22, 2020, 23:20 IST
Panjab University, which is already facing a revenue gap this year, has yet to receive around Rs 21 crore under the post-matric scholarship (PMS) scheme from the Punjab government.
The matter was discussed in the last meeting of PU’s budget estimate committee. Due to the pandemic this year, the university did not receive revenue from many sources and the varsity is expecting to face a revenue gap of Rs 31 crore under the income heads of examination fee and income from hostel during the financial year 2020-21.
In its last meeting, the budget estimate committee had observed that the university should request the Punjab government to release the pending grant under PMS to cover the projected revenue gap this year. The pending amount has risen over the years as the number of students opting for the scheme has increased.
Under the PMS, financial assistance is provided to the Scheduled Caste students studying at post-matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.
A member of the panel on the condition of anonymity said, “We have recommended that the university should make efforts and ask the Punjab government for the pending money. The pending funds can be utilised to cover the deficit in budget and that can also be utilised for other projects.”
Earlier this year, the varsity had written to the Punjab government seeking the release of pending dues of Rs 15.23 crore at that time.
Already, the annual fee hike was put on hold this year and a concession of 5% in semester fee for all students meant losses to the tune of Rs 2 crore to the university. Not expecting to earn any revenue from the usual sources, including hostels, the university has also asked its departments to cut spending and suspend the leave travel concession to teachers.
Officials at the university’s finance and development office said that PU had also written to the Punjab government and secretary to the governor of Punjab requesting the immediate reimbursement of the pending funds under the PMS. “Despite our efforts, we did not get an appropriate response,” said an official at the finance department of PU.
The budget estimate committee in its last meeting had recommended that the university should reflect the projected revenue gap in the budget and request both the central government and the Punjab government to release supplementary grant and pending grant under PMS, as the case may be, to cover the gap.