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Sindh Agriculture University in financial crisis, says VC

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Sindh Agriculture University in financial crisis, says VC
« on: July 26, 2010, 08:31:31 AM »
Sindh Agriculture University in financial crisis, says VC
HYDERABAD, July 25: Dr A.Q. Mughal, Vice-Chancellor of the Sindh Agriculture University, has said that the university is facing a financial crisis and urged the Higher Education Commission and the government to release additional funds.
The vice-chancellor said in a statement that the university’s current budget of Rs540.934 million was far short of meeting even the annual salary bill of Rs604.385 and utilities and POL charges of Rs67.7 million.

He said that a recent communication of the HEC said that the university’s recurring budget for 2010-11 would stand frozen at Rs540.934 million, was almost equal to the funds released in 2009-10.

The university already faced a shortfall of Rs174.782 million on account of payment of 15 and 20 per cent ad hoc relief to employees and 15 and 20 per cent increase in pensions during 2009-10, he said.

In keeping with the requirements, he said, the statutory bodies of the SAU had approved a budget of Rs876.787 million for 2010-11. Besides, the university had to bear the additional cost of Rs177.515 million in 2010-11 because of increase in basic salaries, pension and medical allowance recently announced by the government.

In addition, under HEC’s directives, the university was establishing the Directorate of University Advancement and Students Financial Assistance and Directorate of Research which required a further Rs7.851 million, he said.

Put together, the total expenditure would come to Rs1,062.153 million for 2010-11 but the HEC committed only Rs540.934 million. The university expected an internal income of only Rs90 million from fees, university farms and other sources, Dr Mughal said.

He said the university would face a shortfall of Rs430.719 million which would adversely affect all spheres of its activities.

Although the university had been trying to raise revenue but institutions of higher learning were service providers and could not function as business entities.

The recent establishment of an endowment fund at the university would take years to grow to a sizable amount to support its activities, he said.

With the Rs540.934 million budget, it would be difficult to pay salary bill of Rs604.385 and utilities and POL charges of Rs67.7 million, and also to meet the commitment to increase in salary and pension announced by the government.

He urged the HEC and the government to sanction additional funds to pull the university out of its financial crisis.Dawn