AT a time when public-sector universities all over the country are under severe financial crunch and are forced to borrow from commercial banks (also becoming defaulters in some cases), the payment of leave encashment to the teaching staff of the University of Karachi doesn’t make any sense.

The university does not have an organised record of attendance of its teaching staff for the calculation of the amount to be paid in lieu of leave encashment.

Faced with a monthly deficit of about Rs30 million, the university had to pay the leave encashment from the students’ fees for the evening programme.

In view of the financial crisis facing the university and the already handsome salary packages, the teaching staff shouldn’t have asked or have declined the leave encashment.

Next door NED University is no more giving leave encashment to its staff, has also withdrawn telephone bill payment facility to all its officers and is also going to rationalise the medical facility.

The use of airconditioners at the NED is not allowed after three o’clock due to resource constraints.

Instead of indulging in spendthrift practices and then groaning and moaning for funding from the Higher Education Commission or increasing the admission/examination fee from time to time, public-sector universities should consider the rationalisation of their administrative expenses, staff strength and adopt austerity measures to save the precious funding they get from the Higher Education Commission.

ARIFUZ ZAMAN Karachi

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