Covid: PU asks departments to cut expenses

With Panjab University taking various measures to curtail spending this year to minimise the loss in revenue due to pandemic, it has also asked all departments to cut down their expenses.

In a recent communication from the assistant registrar (budget), the teaching and non-teaching departments were told to adopt the austerity measures taken by the varsity on the recommendation of a special panel.

PU is not expecting to earn any revenue from the various sources, including hostels, amid the pandemic. The annual fee hike was put on hold this year and, a concession of 5% in semester fee for all students resulted in losses to the tune of ₹2 crore.

As per the communication, the heads of all departments and branches, except the dental institute, have been asked to reduce the budget provision meant for lab expenditure by 40%. It also stated that there will be a general cut of 10% in the budget provision of office and general expenses instead of 20% as had been recommended by the austerity committee.

Moreover, the departments have been asked to not use budget provision under the head ‘Books of Journals’, to purchase of books. However, the department may use the same for the purchase of online textbooks and reference books only.

NO NEW DEMAND TO BE CONSIDERED

The varsity also stated that to curtail the spending, the finance department will not consider any new or additional demands in the revised budget estimates of 2020-21 and the budget estimates of 2021-22. However, the decision will be reviewed at the time of the formulation of revised estimates of 2021-22 in July 2021.

Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) president Mritunjay Kumar said, “We have put forth several demands during the budget estimates meeting keeping in view the problems faced by the teaching community. We have also demanded ₹1 crore for streamlining the online teaching facilities.”

PU has already suspended the leave travel concession/ home town concession to its employees for 2020-21 and, libraries have been asked to cut short the online journal subscriptions based on their usage.

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