Audit shows DU colleges misappropriating funds

 thehindu.com  09/16/2020 18:35:14 

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that a preliminary audit report of six of the 12 Delhi University (DU) colleges that are funded by the Delhi government shows that the institutes have been misappropriating funds given to them.

The colleges are in a tussle with the Delhi government over formation of governing bodies and have alleged that they are unable to pay salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff as the government has not released unds.

Incomplete audit

Mr. Sisodia said that the independent audit has found that despite the Delhi government increasing the salary grant to teachers since 2014-15 and the bank accounts of the colleges showing enough funds, the colleges were claiming that they had no money. He added that the audit that began this month could not be completed as the colleges stopped cooperating after the initial findings raised red flags.

The Delhi government has provided enough funds to these colleges for paying salaries but in their initial observation report, the auditors have found that those funds are being directed elsewhere rather than paying salaries to teachers. Projected salaries for this academic year is 300 crore and the Delhi government has provided sufficient funds to the colleges, Mr. Sisodia said.

The Minister alleged that DU was playing with the lives of their own staffers and trying to discredit the AAP government. He accused the DU administration of behaving like the BJPs party office. They are only focused on blaming the Delhi government. Under the pattern of assistance, it is clearly mentioned that provisioning of grant will be made only on net deficit basis. In reality, these colleges are having surplus amount and yet they are not paying due salaries to the teachers. This is criminal and will not be tolerated, Mr. Sisodia said.

He also requested the Delhi University Teachers Association to raise the issue as to how the funds are being used.

Mr. Sisodia said that it was found that while claiming to not have money to pay teachers, the colleges have kept huge amounts of money as fixed deposits (FDs). Keshav Mahavidyalaya has kept 10.52 crore as FD while Bhagini Nivedita College has around 2.5 crore as FD in their accounts, he added.

The salary grant paid by the Delhi government to Keshav Mahavidyalaya was 10.92 crore in the year 2014-15, and last year, the government paid 27.9 crore. The salary grant paid to Bhagini Nivedita College in the year 2014-15 was around 8.4 crore and last year it was increased to 18 crore. It is surprising that they are claiming lack of funds and at the same time, not cooperating with the auditors also, Mr. Sisodia said.

Mr. Sisodia said Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College did not provide their balance sheets but from the available records, it was found that they had no shortage of funds.

DUTA response

The DUTA, which is on a three-day strike against the government for delayed release of grants, said that it is extremely unfortunate that teachers are caught in the crossfire of these allegations made by Mr. Sisodia which is neither of their making, nor their responsibility in any way. It is evident that the Delhi government is attempting to divert attention with these repeated allegations of maladministration in these colleges. The DUTA strongly condemns the obdurate stance taken by the Delhi government and warns it against any further harassment of these institutions and the employees. The financial crisis precipitated in these 12 colleges must end immediately, it said.

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