Punjab Will Help 'Cash-Strapped' Panjab University: Finance Minister Manpreet Badal

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Punjab Will Help 'Cash-Strapped' Panjab University: Finance Minister Manpreet Badal

Punjab Will Help 'Cash-Strapped' Panjab University: Finance Minister Manpreet Badal

Chandigarh:  The Congress government in Punjab today assured to help the Panjab University and accused the previous SAD-BJP government of not providing adequate funds to it. According a Press Trust of India report, the state finance minister Manpreet Badal said the Punjab government will try and help the cash strapped university which is facing a financial crisis. However, the state will take any decision regarding the financial support to PU only after the Amarinder Singh government comes out with a white paper on the state's finances, said Mr. Badal.

"First, we will release the white paper. Then whatever we can do we will certainly do for PU," Mr. Badal said.

PU Vice Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover has written to the state government seeking a meeting to apprise them about the varsity's financial situation.

The finance minister also said that he got a letter from the VC and he will try for a meeting. He also said that he felt sad at the events happened at Panjab University.

On last Tuesday, violent clashes between students and the police were witnessed in the Panjab University as the week-long protests over the steep fee hike suddenly turned ugly.

Mr. Badal said that he regretted that the earlier government had frozen the money meant for PU.

"Every year Punjab gives Rs 20 crore to PU and this amount has been frozen," he said and accused the previous SAD-BJP government of not properly prioritising the allocation of funds which led to the financial mess.

He accuded the SAD-BJP government saying the priorities of the last dispensation were wrong. He said that the last government spent Rs 2,000 crore on monuments and memorials and they spent Rs 180 crore on Tirath Yatras, then gave just Rs 20 crore to PU.

With PU in a financial mess, it has been getting Rs 20 crore per annum for the last several years after Punjab froze its share to this amount despite it was supposed to bear 40 per cent of the PU's fiscal deficit.

Panjab University has now demanded 12 per cent hike in allocations from the state government to meet the rising expenditure.

With a total budget of about Rs 500 crore, the Panjab University has projected a deficit of about Rs 250 crore for fiscal 2017-18. Last month, the university senate raised the tuition fee for several courses which was strongly opposed by the many students' organisations, reported PTI.

Meanwhile, National Students Union of India (NSUI) chief Amrita Dhawan said a delegation of students will meet Vice President and PU Chancellor M Hamid Ansari to apprise him of the situation.

Dhawan also demanded that the Centre should intervene and provide sufficient funds to the university.

"Education should not be made commodity," Dhawan said while strongly condemning the fee hike.

(With Inputs from PTI)
 

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