Rs1bn deficit budget: Punjab University students may pay for ‘hard decisions’
Lahore: The Punjab University is presenting an over Rs1 billion deficit budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 with a total outlay of Rs6.094 billion. It expects an income of Rs5.047 billion and the deficit stands at Rs1.047 billion (21 per cent).
The university is proposing increase in examination, registration, migration and degree fees between 10 per cent and 20 per cent to the Syndicate which is meeting for approval of budget on Saturday (today). PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran is scheduled to chair the meeting.
The PU, on the recommendation of the budget committee, is proposing a 10 per cent increase in the rate of registration/examination fee for students of affiliated colleges and 15 per cent increase for private candidates. It is also proposing 20 per cent increase in examination fee of private candidates of B.Com examination; 18 per cent increase in migration/degree/equivalence and verification fee; and urgent migration certificate fee at double the ordinary migration.
In order to generate revenue from its own resources, the PU is also proposing that seats may be reserved for donors in teaching departments. It states that donation for per seat may be fixed based on the market demand of the programme.
The PU is also proposing that an estimated subsidy of Rs235 million on university services – transport, internet and hostels – should be reduced by gradually increasing the rate of these services. It proposed that the electricity charges for students (On Campus and Hostels) be enhanced by Rs25 per month, student bus charges by Rs50 per month, employee bus charges by Rs80 per month and bus ticket rate be doubled from Rs10 to Rs20 – to meet the ever-increasing prices of POL/electricity etc.
The PU is also proposing to the Syndicate to increase rent of shops/canteens/kiosks at the rate of 10 per cent per annum and the income should be credited into varsity’s main income account.
Overall, the varsity’s budget committee has proposed some 15 measures to generate revenue that also include starting short/refresher courses, market-based consultancy and testing services, swimming courses, fitness centre facility, outsourcing of auditorium and video conference, playgrounds to private schools and colleges, commercialisation of Press and Publication Department, setting up a souvenir shop. It says departments be asked to invest their surplus funds and utilise income for their departments’ development.
The PU budget committee has also proposed three austerity measures – ban on creation of non-teaching posts; no increase in the operating allocations except in POL and utilities; and rationalisation of establishment expenditure.
According to the PU budget estimates, the university expects a total income of Rs5.047 billion comprising grant of Rs1.695 billion from the Higher Education Commission; Rs82.036 million as a grant for Tenure Track System and Rs3.27 billion (65 per cent) to be generated from its own sources.
The committee has stated that the Punjab government has zero per cent allocation for the PU recurring demands. As for grants from the HEC, the committee has informed the Syndicate that the government was increasing pay, allowances and pension on a yearly basis, whereas it was not picking the full liability of these increases. It said even the annual inflationary impact was not considered while allocating recurring grants by the PU.
On the expenditure side, the PU has calculated Rs3.179 billion (52 per cent) to be paid to the university employees under the head of pay and regular allowances. It plans to spend Rs392.614 million (six per cent) on other benefits and facilities; Rs557.527 million (nine per cent) on pension; Rs452.9 million (seven per cent) on conduct and remuneration of examination, Rs527.23 million (nine per cent) on utility charges; Rs100 million (two per cent) on lump sum provision for research; Rs199.239 million (three per cent) on scholarships for faculty and students; Rs292.992 million (five per cent) on other current expenditure and Rs392.57 million (six per cent) on development expenditure.