Kerala Agriculture University faces fund crunch

July 17th, 2008 - 12:46 am ICT by IANS  


Thrissur (Kerala), July 16 (IANS) The Kerala Agriculture University (KAU), the state’s leading institution in the field, is facing a severe shortage of funds and is finding it difficult to pay salaries to the staff. “The university is yet to pay salary for June to some of its staff. Only 75 percent employees got their salaries this month,” Gireendrababu, the general secretary of the KAU Employees Union, told IANS Wednesday.

The university, an autonomous body funded by the state government, is located at Vellanikkara in Thrissur district, around 70 km from Kochi.

“The university needs Rs.10.4 crore (Rs 104 million) a month to pay salaries and for other contingency expenditure. The government grant is only to the tune of Rs.5.6 crore,” he said.

University employees said a revision of the dearness allowance and a hike in the faculty salary had worsened the crisis.

However, university registrar Jobi V. Paul said: “The difficulty in the salary payment will be solved soon. We will get a one-time grant of Rs.3 crore (Rs 30 million) tomorrow (Thursday).

“Annually the university needs Rs.110 crore (Rs.1.1 billion) at least for its non-plan needs. But currently we get only Rs.67 crore (Rs 670 million).”

He said the fund shortage had not affected the research projects at KAU as it was getting funds from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).

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