ISLAMABAD:25 August: Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University is running into Rs18 million budget deficit, thanks to the month-long tussle between the management and the employees over 129 appointments as a result of which prospectus for new admissions could not be printed.
Although the recently appointed vice-chancellor of the university has stopped salaries to the new recruits who were appointed without the creation of budgetary posts and without approval of the syndicate, the damage has been done, Dawn has learnt.
According to sources, upon retirement of the VC, Prof Dr Irfanul Haq was made acting VC in the last week of May till July 29, 2012 (age of superannuation) to run day-to-day affairs of the university. Instead of focusing on routine activities of the university, he began the process of appointing, advertising 129 jobs and conducting interviews.
On the other hand regular staff of the university and members of syndicate started resisting the process due to which precious time lost and admissions of new students were delayed.
President of Academic Staff Association (ASA), Prof Nadeem Akhtar Abbasi while talking to Dawn said that every year prospectuses worth Rs2 million were published.
“As per normal practice university give tender for the prospectus June and printing of prospectuses is completed by the end of July. This year the tussle put on hold the whole process due to which prospectuses could not be printed,” he said.
“Former VC Prof Dr Irfanul Haq left the university on July 29 but printing of prospectus has already been delayed so rather than advertising tenders of Rs2 million, management decided to print only application forms (worth of Rs40,000). The decision was taken to save time but we were already late,” he said.
“Although university stood at seventh position during Higher Education Commission’s ranking announced in February 2012, the tussle has badly affected its educational standard,” he said.
An officer of management requesting not to be identified said: “Budget should have been shifted in different accounts of the university in July but the management did not do it. So we will face financial problem throughout the year and even audit team will also raise objections at the end of the year.”
“VC Prof Mohammad Azeem Malik, who was appointed on August 18t, has instructed to stop the payments to the recently appointed staff because so far syndicate has not given approval for the new posts. Because of over recruitment and delay in admissions we have been facing a shortfall of Rs18 million in the budget of 2012-13,” he said.
Newly appointed VC, Prof Muhammad Azeem Malik while talking to Dawn said that he had come to know that there were lots of embezzlements in the university.
“I have instructed not to pay the salaries to newly appointed staff. Although they have given the joining reports, their appointments are subject syndicate’s approval. Besides, there are some non budgetary posts and new seats have to be created,” he said.
I have called a meeting on August 27 which will discuss steps to control the budget deficit. Meeting of the syndicate will be held next month. As far as admissions are concerned I have
instructed to complete the process as early as possible,” he said.Dawn.