Chandigarh, March 6 (Punjab Mail USA)- In a press release issued here today, former Leader of Opposition and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira stated that Punjab government’s budget for 2020-21 presents a very dark picture for the youth. Khaira said if we carefully analyse the provisions made in budget for higher education for the year 2020-21, it clearly indicates to a gross neglect and bleak future for the youth of Punjab and the teaching staff of aided colleges.
Highlighting the failure of Punjab government towards higher education, Khaira expressed deep shock and concern over the pending salary under 95% grant in aid scheme to the employees of 136 aided colleges of the state. He said the aided colleges cater to more than 6000 employees and two lakh students of the state, besides playing a great role in shaping up the future of youth and preventing them to fall prey to the menace of drugs and other evil practices. He said it’s a matter of grave concern, that employees of these aided colleges have not been paid salary since September 2019. He further stated that even the salary for the month of September 2019 released recently was only 60% of the total salary amount. He said it was saddening to note, that not even a single penny for the salary of the employees has been released since October 2019 till date.
Khaira said it shows that the Finance Minister has failed to keep his promise of making adequate provisions to disburse salaries for the last 2 years, due to which the amount has now increased to 137 crores. He said that if the Punjab government is to disburse salaries without any hindrance for the current session 2020-21, an additional amount of Rs. 250 crores would be required. He said that Punjab government was actually required to make a provision of Rs. 387 crores in this budget for smooth disbursement of the salaries, merely for the employees of the said aided colleges. Khaira pointed out that Punjab government has not released a single penny towards building of infrastructure or any other developmental grant to the government aided colleges, that impart education to the major chunk of youth of the state.
Khaira said it was shocking to note that although the Punjab government has announced to implement the sixth pay commission for its employees in the current financial year, whereas the report is yet to come and accepted by the state. Khaira said on the other hand many states of the country have already promised to implement the seventh pay commission report as per UGC recommendations almost one and half year ago for college and university teachers, while Punjab is yet in a state of confusion on the sixth pay commission report for its employees. He said Punjab state now lags behind even Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram etc.
Khaira reminded the Finance Minister that most of these 136 aided colleges were set up to celebrate the 500 years of Guru Nanak Dev ji in year 1969. Khaira chided the state government that there is no point opening new colleges in the state, while the existing infrastructure of higher education in Punjab is in a state of shambles. Khaira said it was due to utter neglect of education sector in Punjab, that its youth are migrating to other parts of world in lacs and lacs each year in search of better life.
Khaira urged the Finance Minister to immediately make supplementary provisions in the current budget for implementation of 7th pay commission report for the colleges and university teachers and similarly implementation of sixth pay commission report for the employees of Punjab government.