Punjabi University welcomes grant and seeks Rs 150-cr loan waiver: The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Patiala, June 30

The state government in the budget allocation for the financial year 2022-23 has increased the monthly grant for Punjabi University, Patiala from Rs 9.5 crore to 16.6 crore. Insiders say this is only a marginal increase in the wage subsidy which will again fall short with the implementation of new wage scales.

The government has announced a provision of Rs 150 crore for the university as a subsidy (salary), as well as a non-wage subsidy of Rs 50 crore.

The university, in an official statement, welcomed the grant and said, “This is a step towards restoring the university. We expect the government to review our outstanding requests and fill in the gaps in the revised budget. We are expecting a grant of Rs 240 crore per annum from the government as well as a loan waiver of Rs 150 crore.

PUTA Chairman Bhupinder Singh said, “The university is paying Rs 18 crore per annum as interest for a bank loan of Rs 150 crore. Therefore, the grant allocated will be less than the needs of the university. The government should seriously consider foregoing the loan amount from the university to actually improve its financial situation.

The university’s current salary budget is Rs 30 crore. Officials have said that if the new salary commission scales are implemented, they will be burdened with an increase in expenditure of Rs 5 crore. A senior administrative official said: “The process of implementing the 7th salary commission scales for non-teaching employees could be implemented in a month or two and will again increase the expenditure of the university by Rs 5 crore per month. The current allocation is insufficient. Despite so much effort and hard work, the government ignored the Vice Chancellor’s repeated requests for grants.

Employees said the university already had outstanding obligations of arrears, gratuities, leave encashment, medical and other reimbursements to the tune of Rs 40 crore. “The subsidy is insufficient and should therefore be increased.”

Manoj Bhambri, former General Secretary of the Non-Teaching Employees Union, said: “We welcome the increase in the grant by the government and hope that they will take over the bank loan soon.”

#Punjabi University Patiala

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