Patiala, March 8, 2014–
Even though the Punjabi University authorities claimed to have adequate funds to meet its expenses but the poor financial condition of the university can be gauged from the fact that it has failed to pay its employees, both teaching and non-teaching, their salaries for February till date.
Not only this, the university's authorities have also failed to clear pending dues of its retired employees for the past several months.
As per available information, as many as 4000 employees have been waiting to get their salaries since March 1.
One of the senior faculty members said this was for the first time that the university had delayed releasing salaries of its employees. Earlier, they used to get the salaries by the first day of every month.
"In case of delay or any other reason, the authorities managed to release it by the third of each month. However, now the university authorities have failed to give a satisfactory reply when inquired about delay in the salaries", said a faculty member, seeking anonymity.
However, if the university authorities are to be believed, the delay in receiving communique pertaining to dearness allowance (DA) and then delay on the part of the audit department have delayed the process of releasing the salaries.
University finance officer Baljeet Singh Sidhu said they have been waiting for the audit department to complete its formalities pertaining to scrutinising of salaries and tax deduction of around 4000 university employees.
"The salaries for February of the employees will be hopefully released soon as we are going to give them DA instalments as announced by the state government", Sidhu said.
The state government has announced instalment of 10 percent DA to employees in cash along with the salary for February.
Infor mation gathered by HT revealed that more than 100 cases pertaining to gratuity of superannuated employees amounting to ' 6.5 crore been lying pending with university's finance department since June 2012.
Also, more than 40 cases of pension commutations are presently lying pending as employees who have applied months ago to commute stipulated 20 per cent of their pension, are yet to be disbursed by the university authorities.
Meanwhile, many of the departments have not been given departmental contingency funds since November 2013.
"Gratuity cases have been cleared from time to time in the past months", Sidhu said
"The remaining cases will be cleared once we would get some of the grants worth crores which were delayed for some reasons", he said.
The state government has also failed to increase the annual budget of the university despite a hike in its expenditure for past several years.
*HT Media Ltd.