PUTA meets Bajwa, briefs him about ongoing fiscal crisis at Punjabi varsity
The teachers’ body seeks setting up of a high-level panel of officials of higher education ministry to study the crisis and provide solutionsUpdated: Jan 22, 2020 22:02 IST
A two-member delegation of the Punjabi University Teachers’ Association (PUTA), met Punjab higher education minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa over the ongoing financial crisis that the varsity is facing at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
PUTA president Prof Jaswinder Singh Brar and secretary Dr Gurnam Singh Virk briefed the cabinet minister about the poor fiscal health of the varsity, which is finding it difficult to meet its committed expenditures every month.
Prof Brar and Virk said that the PUTA as put forward the demand to set up a high-level panel of officials of the higher education ministry so as to study the ongoing financial crisis at the university.
“The panel should minutely analyse the poor fiscal health of the varsity and recommend a one-time special bailout to package for the university to the state government,” Brar said.
The PUTA secretary added that they have briefed the minister about the crisis getting worse with every passing month and that the varsity is making stopgap arrangements every month to pay salaries and pensions to the employees.
“The state higher education minister listened to our concerns and demands. He assured that funds will be provided to the varsity. He said that the state government is aware of the poor financial situation of the varsity,” he said.
He added that they have also handed over a written representation regarding their demands to the minister.
Meanwhile, vice-chancellor Professor BS Ghuman also met Bajwa on Wednesday.
“Besides having a discussion on other issues, I acquainted the minister about the varsity’s financial condition. We are constantly approaching the state government for a one-time settlement grant,” Prof Ghuman said.
Last week, expressing their growing concern over the poor fiscal health of the varsity, the Punjabi University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) had called for a special Syndicate session to discuss the crisis.
The overall expenditure for the year 2019-20 consists of the liability of overdraft equivalent to ₹130 crore. In its budgetary allocation for 2019-2020 financial year, the university had proposed a budget of ₹717 crore, against an income of ₹344 crore. The estimated deficit of ₹372.64 crore for 2019-20 is more than the estimated income.
Moreover, the university’s overall income has declined from ₹445.35 crore in 2016-17 to ₹409.08 crore in 2017-18, and ₹344 crore in the ongoing financial year.