KARACHI, Feb 1: The syndicate of Dow University of Health Sciences has decided to slow down work on a few projects and get a bank loan to pay enhanced salaries to the faculty and staff, it emerged on Wednesday.

The decision had been taken to overcome financial constraints caused by increased recurring expenses and slow release of funds from the Higher Education Commission and the Sindh government, said DUHS Vice Chancellor Prof (Dr) Masood Hameed Khan while chairing a faculty meeting held at the Dow Medical College Arag auditorium.

The meeting was called to discuss the problems the university administration was facing in paying the 15 per cent increase in the salary of the faculty and staff according to a Sindh government notification issued in July 2011.

The vice chancellor informed the faculty that the purpose of getting a loan from a local bank was to avert protests by the faculty and staff who had been waiting for the raise for the last six months. Only the lower staff had been paid the increased salary for which the university had to curtail its expenses, he said.

He added that the DUHS was managing 65 to 70 per cent expenses through ‘its own resources’.

Dr Hameed explained that neither had the  Sindh government increased the university grant nor had the HEC responded to various letters sent to it on the subject of funds.

Under these circumstances, the university was compelled to utilise its own resources or divert funds from development projects, at least for the time being, to pay salaries and allowances to the employees, the vice chancellor claimed.

Disparities in HEC grants Dr Hameed also gave a presentation on the university demand for additional funds on account of revision of basic pay scales in 2011 and package of doctors.

He said there were disparities in HEC grants being given to medical universities.

According to him, the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences gets Rs0.114 million grant per student, Lahore’s University of Health Sciences receives Rs0.455m grant per student and Khyber Medical University gets Rs0.495m per student, while the DUHS gets only Rs0.037m grant per student.

At the outset, the vice chancellor demanded that the HEC raise the DUHS grant bringing it on a par with that of the Liaquat University of Medical Health Sciences.

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