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Peshawar university to be restructured under new law

December 30, 2011

- Photo by Reuters

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday passed the University of Peshawar Bill 2011, which was aimed at reconstitution and reorganisation of the university.

Minister for Higher Education Qazi Mohammad Asad had tabled the bill, which sought to replace the University of Peshawar Act, 1974, under which the affairs of this oldest university of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were being governed to the day.

An amendment tabled by PPP’s Abdul Akbar Khan and three amendments of the minister were included in the bill.

Mr Khan, however, withdrew his other amendments after he was assured that certain clauses in the bill would be amended in future.

Another amendment moved by treasury member Saqibullah Khan Chamkani was defeated when it was put to vote. Mr Chamkani was insisting that Clause 50 concerning tripartite mobility should be dropped from the bill.

Under the clause the senate of the university would be empowered to direct that any official of the university should serve in any post under government or any other university; direct any post in the university to be filled by appointing an employee of government or any other university or an educational institution.

Both the members also pointed out flaws in the audit mechanism for the university and stated that the proposed law provides that the audit of funds would not be conducted by the auditor general but by an independent auditor.

They questioned that when funds would be provided to the university from the Provincial Consolidated Fund why the audit should not be conducted by the auditor general.

The members said that prior to the 18th Constitutional Amendment the funds to the universities were provided by the federal government, but now it was the responsibility of the province, therefore the province should be having the powers to check the use of those funds.

The government has also tabled another bill – the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Bill 2011 – on Dec 26 which is aimed at providing a law governing the functioning of 10 public sector universities other than the University of Peshawar.

BOK’S LIABILITIES: The provincial public sector Bank of Khyber’s liabilities rose from Rs41.4 billion in December 2010 to Rs50 billion in June 2011, according to information provided to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Tabling the details during the question-answer session in the House, the provincial finance department said that the bank’s liabilities on account of total deposits and other accounts were Rs36.9 billion in December 2010 that jumped to Rs45.3 billion by June 30, 2011.

The statement shows that the bank’s total assets stood at Rs60.15 billion against total liabilities of Rs50.24 billon in June 2011.

Through a question, Pakistan People’s Party MPA Noor Sahar had sought five-year record of total assets and liabilities of the bank. Speaker Kiramatullah Khan Chagharmatti presided over the proceedings.

Finance Minister Mohammad Humayun Khan instead of verbally explaining the statement asked for its placement before the assembly’s committee concerned, observing that the information was ‘technical’ and needed to be discussed threadbare at a proper forum.

The statement said that total cash and balances with the bank was Rs5.1 billion in Dec 2010 which reduced to Rs2.9 billion in June 2011. However, investments increased from Rs19.8 billon in Dec 2010 to Rs29.3 billion in June 2011.

The total deposits and accounts of BoK had jumped from Rs36.9 billion to Rs45.3 billion by the end of previous financial year.

The House was informed that the bank’s total borrowing (from different lending sources, including State Bank of Pakistan, etc.) stood at Rs2.58 billion on June 30, 2011, marginally less compared with Rs2.89 billion on December 31, 2010.