Punjabi University welcomes grant, seeks Rs 150-cr loan waiver

Punjabi University welcomes grant, seeks Rs 150-cr loan waiver

Punjabi University. File photo

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 30

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

The government has announced a provision of Rs 150 crore for the university as grant-in-aid (salary), along with Rs 50 crore non-salary grant.

The university in an official statement welcomed the grant and said, “It is a step toward recovery of the university. We expect that the government will consider our pending demands and fill the gaps in the revised budget. We are expecting a grant of Rs 240 crore per year from the government along with waiving Rs 150 crore loan.”

PUTA president Bhupinder Singh said, “The university pays Rs 18 crore annually as interest for availed bank loan of Rs 150 crore. Therefore, the allocated grant will fall short of the university’s needs. The government should seriously look into waiving-off the loan amount of the university to actually benefit its financial position.”

The university’s current salary budget is Rs 30 crore. Officials said if the new pay commission scales are implemented, it will be burdened with increased expenditure by Rs 5 crore. A senior administrative official said, “The process for implementation of 7th pay commission scales for non-teaching employees could be implemented in a month or two and will again increase the university’s expenditure by Rs 5 crore per month. The current allocation is insufficient. Despite so much effort and hard work, the government did not pay any heed to the vice chancellor’s repeated requests for grants.”

Employees said the university already has pending liabilities of arrears, gratuity, leave encashment, medical reimbursement and other to the tune of Rs 40 crore. “The grant is insufficient and therefore should be increased.”

Manoj Bhambri, former general secretary of non-teaching employees’ union, said, “We welcome the increase in grant by the government and expect it will take over the bank loan soon.”

#Punjabi University Patiala

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