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15pc hike in PU registration, exam charges

Lahore, June 20, 2008: The Punjab University's Finance and Planning Committee has approved the varsity's estimated budget of Rs2.976 billion for 2008-09 that reflects enhanced examination and registration fees by 15 per cent.

It has, however, not increased tuition and admission fees for the on-campus regular students.

Of the total budget, the university expects to generate Rs1.882 billion (69.508 per cent) from its own resources besides a grant of Rs825.6 million from the Higher Education Commission.

The committee meeting, chaired by vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran here on Thursday, approved the Rs268 million deficit budget, having income of Rs2.707 billion.

The PU has estimated that it would spend Rs2.301 billion on recurring expenditure which will be carried forward. It will be expecting an impact of increase in pay and allowances to the tune of Rs186.747 million; as many as 20 per cent increase in pension costing Rs35 million, while the impact of creation/ conversion of posts during the year will be around Rs28.731 million.

The PU has also made new recurring (only inevitable) and non-recurring demands to the tune of Rs243.703 million and Rs180.575 million, respectively.In order to bridge the deficit, the F&P has stated that Rs160 million would be saved from vacant posts, while the university would approach the HEC to bear at least 50 per cent liability of increase in pay and pensions that would attract Rs111 million.

As the university F&P committee has approved 15 per cent increase in examination and registration fees, it expects to earn Rs965.132 million and Rs352.32 million under the two heads, respectively, during the next financial year.

It also expects to generate Rs92.325 million from Self-Supporting Scheme and Rs88 million from Self-Finance Scheme.

A member of the F&P committee, however, strongly objected to the creation of 72 low-cadre posts that would cost the university Rs28.731 million during the next financial year alone.

F&P committee member Dr Mumtaz Anwar said that it was a matter of great concern that the teacher-VC had created 72 non-teaching posts while using his emergency powers during his first four months. He also said the VC had not created even a single teaching post in the university.

He said he also objected to the vice-chancellor's decision of purchasing three new cars, including two for protocol duties, at a cost of Rs4.6 million.

According to highlights of the budget, the PU has allocated Rs50 million to promote and encourage research culture in the varsity. The research allocation has been enhanced by 120 per cent from last year's budget of Rs22.685 million. The university has also doubled the budget allocation for overseas scholarships from Rs20 million to Rs40 million.

The university has allocated Rs8 million for laptops, computers and multimedia which will help enhance the capabilities of teachers. In order to meet the enhancement in the rate of honorarium to professors emeritus from Rs5,000 to Rs25,000 a month, the university has allocated an additional Rs2.16 million.

For the provision of equipment/computers to departments, an additional Rs11.050 million amount has been approved.

The university has also allocated an additional amount of Rs108.75 million for remunerations, secrecy work and conduct of examinations and Rs100 million for ongoing additional works.

The PU has increased PhD scholarships from 60 to 75 besides increasing stipend from Rs4,000 to Rs5,000 a month. The varsity has also increased MPhil/MS scholarships from 25 to 100 at the rate of Rs2,500 a month for each student.

The university has allocated Rs4 million for purchase of books for main library and departmental libraries. It has allocated Rs12 million for the replacement of four old buses to facilitate the varsity students and employees, as well as Rs6 million for the replacement of vehicles for the office of the controller of examinations.PU Registrar Prof Dr Naeem Khan said the 72 low-cadre posts had been created to provide support staff to the faculty members and provide services to the varsity students. He said the posts created for the recruitment of security guards, janitorial staff and key-punch operators would not cost more than Rs2 million a year.

Responding to criticism for not creating any teaching post, Prof Khan said the university, at present, had around 300 vacant teaching posts. It was holding selection board meetings six days a month. Still, he said, it would take one-and-a-half year to fill the vacant teaching posts. Dawn
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