Monday, 30th October 2017

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Visva-Bharati salary delay notice issued

February pay might be delayed: Varsity

By Snehamoy Chakraborty in Santiniketan
  • Published 25.02.20, 1:31 AM
  • Updated 25.02.20, 1:31 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Central office of Visva-Bharati. File picture

The Visva-Bharati authorities have issued a notification to inform its teaching and non-teaching employees that salaries for February are likely be delayed because of paucity of funds amid speculations on the reasons behind the unprecedented situation at the central varsity.

In a notification issued on Monday, officiating registrar of the varsity, Asha Mukherjee, said: “This is for information of all concerned that the salary for the month of February, 2020 is likely to be delayed due to paucity of funds.”

Normally, the salary of teaching and non-teaching staff and pensioners is credited in their accounts on the last working day of every month.

The notice, sources in the varsity said, has made it clear that the schedule is likely to be missed this month, which has come as a shock for most employees.

Amid uncertainties on what lies ahead, vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty has rushed to Delhi. The question is, if the situation is so bad, why did the VC react so late?

A varsity teacher said this was not the first trip of the VC to New Delhi since January. He said the VC had made at least three trips to Delhi since last month.

Chakrabarty had gone to New Delhi in mid-February to attend a meeting on Basanta Utsav that would be held in March, the teacher added.

Another varsity teacher said: “We feel the intention of the notice is to create panic among employees. If the situation is so grave, the VC and his officials should have rushed to Delhi much earlier. The VC was in New Delhi for a meeting in mid-February, what had stopped him from taking up the issue with the Centre then? Why did he wait for the eleventh hour to rush to New Delhi to take up the issue of funds?”

Visva-Bharati needs around Rs 23 crore per month to pay around 600 teachers, 800 non-teaching employees and 1,953 pensioners. The ministry of human resource development allots the salaries of central universities through the University Grants Commission.

Anirban Sircar, the varsity’s officiating public relations officer, tried to shift the blame to the UGC for the impending salary delay.

“The UGC is yet to send us the funds and so employees might not get their salaries on time. However, our VC is already in Delhi to seek funds and he is constantly in touch with top officials of the UGC and the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development),” said Sircar.

Teachers and non-teaching employees could not recall a similar incident when the varsity had to issue a notification to state its inability to disburse salary on time because of shortage of funds.

Sources said the varsity issued the notification when the salary grant for January did not reach its account.

“We did not get the salary grant for January, but paid our staff using money from deposits such as admission fund. This time we are not in a position to give the salary from our own fund,” said a senior official.

Another official said: “Earlier, we used to require Rs 166 crore annually on account of salary. But after the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission, the budget has increased.”

“We had sent a revised budget six months ago seeking an additional Rs 75 crore. However, the government is yet to sanction the money.”