Dera agriculture varsity faculty getting salary less than minimum wage

Published April 12, 2021
Sources said that Masroor Ellahi Babar, the vice-chancellor of the university, had not received any salary since his appointment on March 7, 2020. — Creative Commons/File
Sources said that Masroor Ellahi Babar, the vice-chancellor of the university, had not received any salary since his appointment on March 7, 2020. — Creative Commons/File

PESHAWAR: The faculty members of University of Agriculture Dera Ismail Khan have been getting salaries less than the minimum wage fixed by the provincial government for the unskilled labour in the province for the last two years, according to sources.

They said that faculty members, having MPhil degrees in their respective subjects, had been getting Rs15,000 per month since 2019 while the provincial government fixed Rs17,500 per month as minimum wage for the unskilled labour.

Sources said that Masroor Ellahi Babar, the vice-chancellor of the university, had not received any salary since his appointment on March 7, 2020.

They said that financially University of Agriculture Dera Ismail Khan was in pathetic conditions as neither provincial nor federal government released a single penny to it since its establishment in 2019.

“Since provincial and federal governments have not bothered to release funds for the development and functioning of the university, it has been running through the fees of students,” an official of the university told Dawn. He said that each student paid fee around Rs25,000 per semester to the university that was utilised by the administration to meet the expenditures.

No funds released for the university since its establishment three years ago

He said that the unplanned decision of establishing UADIK was made in 2017and its name was incorporated in KP Universities Act, 2012 through an amendment by the provincial assembly.

The official said that the university formally started classes by October 2019 in a rented building. It was offering bachelor of studies (BS) programmes in five disciplines including forestry, agriculture, zoology, botany and mathematics, he added.

The university also offers three years diploma programme in veterinary and animal sciences.

“Our appointment is made by following all codal formalities through a selection committee of the university,” a faculty member of the university told Dawn.

He said that the teachers of the university were getting Rs15,000 per month salary. He said that teachers of the university were also performing clerical job along with attending classes as the authorities had not appointed anyone in the administration.

“It’s better to work on a meagre salary of Rs15,000 than roaming jobless,” the teacher having MPhil degree told Dawn.

Sources said that Class-IV employees of the university were getting Rs10,000 per month as salarey. They said that a project of Rs500 million was reflected in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the provincial government in the financial year 2017-18 but the amount was not released by the government.

Similarly, the administration of the university had also submitted a proposal of Rs1.5 million with Higher Education Commission for construction of buildings for the university.

However, sources said, HEC turned down the proposal with the observation that it could not release development funds prior to provision of land by the provincial government.

After the lapse of three years, when the university administration requested the provincial government for funds in 2020, the authorities at the helm of affairs said that first it should be determined whether establishment of the university was needed or not, sources said.

Interestingly, when the university administration requested the auditor general office for the audit of the year 2019-20, the audit report revealed that university spent only Rs3 million to pay salaries of the employees, rent of building and electricity bills.

Vice-chancellor Masroor Ellahi Babar, when contacted, said that the financial crisis of the university would soon be resolved as the provincial cabinet decided to provide funds and land to it.

“We are expecting that the government will release Rs400 million by June 2021,” he said. The issue of meagre salaries would be also resolved with after release of funds by the provincial government, he added.

“We are also working on another proposal seeking Rs4 billion funds for infrastructure development of the university. The proposal will be presented to the provincial government,” said the vice-chancellor.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2021

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