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Govt cracks fund-freeze whip on colleges

Hundreds of teaching and non-teaching employees of many state-aided colleges may not get their salaries after a few months.

The state government has decided to stop providing salary grants to many under-graduate colleges in Calcutta and elsewhere in the districts as they are not conducting internal audits of their accounts. Some of the institutions are also not sending the government’s share of funds collected by them from the students in the form of tuition and other fees. According to the existing rules, all 340 colleges in the state are required to give a certain portion from the students’ tuition and other fees to the government.

The government move to take action against the institutions follows as a part of its drive to ensure proper utilisation of the grants provided to them for paying salaries to their teachers and non-teaching staff.

“We have identified several colleges which have not submitted their internal audit reports for several years. We will not provide salary grants to them until their accounts are audited up to date,” said P.K. Ganguly, state director of public instructions (DPI).

The government spends around Rs 300 crore every year on the 340 colleges in the state to enable them to pay salaries.

According to officials in the education department, the government has not released the salary grants of April, May and June of a number of colleges.

The heads of various colleges admitted their failure in conducting the internal audits on a regular basis. But they pointed out that the institutions might face difficulty to pay the salaries to their employees in the coming months if the government freezes the funds for long.

“We have paid our teachers for the past three months using our internal funds. But it would not be possible for us to pay the salaries on a regular basis in the coming months if we do not receive funds from the government. We will talk to the government next week to find a solution to the problem,” said Gargi Nath, principal, Jogamaya Devi College.

The government has stopped salary grants to the college for not conducting internal audits after 2000.

Sources in the administration said the government was due to receive nearly Rs 1 crore from the three branches of the Surendranath group of colleges in north Calcutta on account of its share from tuition fees. The salary grants of the institutions have been stopped.

‘The monthly income of all colleges in the state has increased considerably after the upward revision of tuition fees last year. But several colleges are reluctant to submit the government’s dues,” said an official.

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