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HomeCitiesBengal varsities’ staff salaries to go directly from exchequer: Govt

Bengal varsities’ staff salaries to go directly from exchequer: Govt

The West Bengal government on Wednesday said the teaching and non-teaching staff of state-aided universities will get their salaries straight from the state exchequer.

In a meeting with finance officers of 11 state-run universities, the state Finance Department said a human resource management system (HRMS) will be implemented to ensure it. The decision has been taken to simplify the existing process and is not aimed at interfering in the varsities’ autonomy, it claimed.

State Education Minister Bratya Basu and Finance Secretary Manoj Pant were among those present in the meeting. A senior Finance Department officer said, “We do not want to interfere in the autonomy of the universities. This process will help faculty and staff to get their salaries and pensions on time without any delay. The process will make the salary and PF calculation easier .”

The controversy around the issue started when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a speech said, “Our Governor says he will run colleges and universities. Have you ever heard a vice-chancellor was changed at midnight? He is behaving as if this is his fiefdom. If any college or university complies with what he says, they will face a financial blockade. Let’s see how vice-chancellors, professors, teachers, and other employees get their salaries,” she had said.

A university finance officer, who attended the meeting on Wednesday, said, “Education Minister Bratya Basu assured us that they do not have any plan to interfere in the universities’ autonomy. They only want to make the process better.”

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A senior Finance Department officer said, “Right now, the universities are given funds at the beginning of a new financial year for disbursing salaries to members of faculty and other staff. The universities could use this fund for other purposes in case of emergency. Under the new process, the universities’ powers in terms of fund disbursement will be curtailed.”

A Higher Education Department official said Wednesday’s meeting is aimed at discussing the financial situation of every university and the crisis faced by some due to the non-release of UGC grants to run ongoing projects. “It has nothing to do with the salary of the staff,” he added.

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Education minister Bratya Basu had earlier said the CM’s comment about the financial blockade to universities pertained to the flow of funds to some state-sponsored projects but has nothing to do with the payment of salaries to either faculty, VC, or any other staff of the institutions. — With PTI inputs

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd

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