Varsities unable to pay raise in salaries
Islamabad: The universities, financed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), are unable to pay increased salaries to their employees as per the Federal Government’s decision in the budget for the year 2010-2011, which was to be effective from July 1, 2010.

HEC claims that the allocations for the current financial year do not include the funds required for paying additional 50 percent of the salaries that would be due from August 1, 2010 when the salary for the month of July is to be paid.

Professor Fateh Moham-mad Malik, Rector International Islamic University Isla-mabad (IIUI), while talking to TheNation said that IIUI had paid fifty percent increased salaries to its lower staff (BPS1 to 16) but it would not give the fifty percent increment to its senior officers. He was of the view that HEC had advised them to generate own resources to meet that increment in the salaries of the staff. However, the said increment would only be given to the senior officers after having proper resources, he maintained.

Similarly, Vice Chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Dr Masoom Yas-inzai, while addressing the protesting staff on Friday, categorically said that QAU needed three hundred million rupees in order to pay the increased salaries to its staff, adding that unless Higher Education Commission would give this amount to the university, the increased salary structure might not be implemented.

Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has also announced to observe black day on August 3 against the budgetary cuts imposed by the government on the Higher Education Commission which has put the development projects on hold. It is also feared that if the present situation, with regard to budgetary cuts, is not improved the universities would not be able to pay the salaries to their employees after couple of months.

The universities at a meeting with HEC on July 28 decided that the student fee should be increased, which FAPUASA has apposed saying that the move would make the higher education out of reach for a common man.

It has been leant that University of Sindh, University of Jamshro and Khairpoor University have not given 50 percent increment to their employees, which has been causing resentment among the academic and non-academic staff of the universities.

General Secretary of Academic Staff Association of Allama Iqbal Open University, Zahid Majeed, said the notification for the raise of faculty’s salaries had been issued but the faculty members were not getting the medical allowance. He demanded that the medical allowance should also be raised in the similar fashion as the HEC had increased the 35 percent medical allowance of its employees.

The officials of HEC, when contacted, said the HEC wanted that every body should get the 50 percent raise but in the recurring budget of the current financial year, the additional budget for the 50 percent salary raise, announced by the government, had not been allocated.

They said that for paying the 50 percent raise in salaries, the Commission needed at least Rs 7 billion and in that regard the Commission was negotiating with the government to allocate the supplementary grant for the payments. Despite the lapse of one month, the government had not released the amount allocated for the current financial year, they added. The nation

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