Patiala, March 29
Punjabi University’s budget deficit for the financial year 2023-24 has climbed to Rs 285 crore. The budget estimates were passed by the university during a meeting of the Syndicate here today. While the university has not yet received any written assurance regarding the monthly grant of Rs 30 crore by the state government, Vice-Chancellor Prof Arvind said the university was hopeful that the state government would provide the funds as assured in the Legislative Assembly recently.
The estimated deficit is the highest ever shortage of funds till date.
The university is now expected to shell out Rs 648 crore as overall expenditure against its estimated income of Rs 363 crore. The income includes receipt of Rs 164 crore as state government grant.
Deficit through the years
For the 2022-23 fiscal, the university had passed an estimated deficit of Rs 207 crore. Officials said the estimated deficit for the upcoming year had climbed due to the state government’s introduction of new pay commission scales for employees and over its failure to increase the university’s grants. “Because of an increase in the salaries, the university is overburdened by around Rs 100 crore per year,” an official said.
In fact, the university exchequer in 2016-17 fiscal was surplus by Rs 4.58 crore. Thereafter, it started witnessing a lack of funds. It was short of Rs 10.49 crore in 2017-18 and the figure climbed to Rs 82.04 crore the following fiscal (2018-19). It was short of Rs 119.88 crore in 2019-20, Rs 130 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 168.24 crore during the 2021-22 fiscal.
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