The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Principals’ purse power

Calcutta, Sept. 2: The government will empower principals of the 17 government colleges across the state with more money so that they do not have to rush to Writers’ Buildings or Bikash Bhavan for funds to meet everyday expenditure.

Complaints from various quarters saying heads of government colleges were having to visit education officials almost daily to arrange small funds had swamped the government. Needless to say, in many cases academic activities had to take the back seat.

“We want the principals of government colleges to spend more time in classrooms. Once the new system is implemented, they will no longer have to go through a lengthy procedure for a small amount,” said Jawhar Sarkar, the principal secretary of the higher education department.

Officials said the principals will be able to spend up to Rs 15,000 without any clearance from the higher education and finance departments.

In the existing system, introduced in the mid-1970s, principals of government colleges can spend a maximum of Rs 1,500. They need a government clearance in case they have to spend more.

“It’s really bad if the heads of government colleges have to spend long hours for financial sanctions to carry out even minor repairs of laboratory equipment or purchase books and small instrument,” said education officials.

The limit of expenditure for the principals has been extended under all the heads, sources in the department said. Earlier they could only spend money on certain specific requirements.

Officials said the principals can now spend a maximum of Rs 150 at a time for bookbinding. “Once the new order comes into effect, they can spend as much as Rs 2,500 for binding books.”

Similarly, the maximum limit for expenditure on furniture, laboratory equipment and store materials has also been increased.

Sarkar said the government will soon issue an order implementing its new plan.

Principals of several government colleges, including those in the city like Presidency, Brabourne and Maulana Azad, welcomed the move to give them more freedom on funds.

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