The Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) budget to be presented on Friday will have no mega projects except proposals to save the varsity from its deepening financial crisis.
The budget for 2013-14 will not have any project that would incur further financial burden on the university. Instead, the focus will be on how to step up internal revenue and cut down on expenditure to reduce the widening deficit.
Lopus Mathew, convener of the standing committee of the Syndicate on Finance and Purchase, said the non-plan expenditure expected for the financial year is about Rs. 107 crore. “We have received a record Rs. 54 crore as non-plan assistance from the government for 2013-14 compared to Rs. 36 crore in the previous year. But even this hike in government support will not be enough to meet the requirement. We will still face a Rs. 50 crore deficit, which includes the Rs. 16 crore to be disbursed as UGC arrears for the faculty members,” he said.
The budget is likely to recommend a hike in the money being drawn from the self-financing fund to meet the crisis besides introducing new self-financing courses.
The university authorities are also pinning their hopes on the UGC grant under the 12 Plan for nearly 23 proposals submitted by various departments. Some of the departments have also sought the assistance of other funding agencies, including the Department of Science and Technology, for as many as 13 projects. The assistance of Rs. 10 crore for School of Engineering under the TEQIP programme has come as a major relief for the cash-strapped university.
Despite the serious financial crunch, the university authorities could not regulate the soaring expenditure under various heads, including the promotions and higher grades, for both the teaching and non-teaching staff.
The financial department of the university had warned that disbursal of salary in the coming months would be hit despite depending heavily on the funds generated from the self-financing programmes and even drawing from the provident fund to provide salary to the employees.