news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 8, 2014 | 8.37 pm IST A former Vice Chancellor of the Visveswaraya Technological University has alleged large scale irregularities in the university’s accounts, to the tune of several crores. Prof K Balaveera Reddy has questioned the university’s handling of its finances, mainly in connection with the use of the corpus fund, which had been set up by an Executive Council resolution in the year 2007-08. According to the resolution, the interest accruing from the fund was to be used only for the purposes of salaries of the staff and maintenance of infrastructure. Reddy says that according to the figures of the university, the fund grew from an initial amount of Rs 185 crore to Rs 541 crore in the year 2012-13. During the next financial year however, the amount is not shown anywhere in the balance sheet of the university. The usage of the interest accruing from the corpus fund requires the approval of both the Department of Higher Education and the Chancellor of the university, who is the Governor, Prof Reddy says. According to the 16th Annual Report of the university, a portion of the fund was used to pay outstanding taxes amounting to Rs 277.11 crore to the Income Tax department along with interest. Prof Reddy maintains that no other government university pays taxes and that if at all taxes had to be paid, the university could have made alternative arrangements to pay the outstanding amount. He says that the outstanding amount could have been paid over a period of three years in installments from the excess income of the university, which has averaged Rs. 70 crore in the years 2007-08 to 2010-11. “Even if the university went ahead and paid taxes out of the corpus fund, what was the necessity to shift the balance (Rs. 265 crore) to the fixed deposits of the university?” Prof Reddy says. Reddy claims that neither the government nor the chancellor had approved the use of the corpus fund. “The university’s expenses come from the students. It is their money,” Prof Reddy says. He says that according to the rules of the university, an officer from the state Accounts Department is deputed as a Financial Officer to the university. For two years, no one from the government has been appointed to this post, he says. Other irregularities Every year since the 2003-04, the accounts of the university show that the income from exam fees has steadily increased from Rs 26 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 36 crore in 2011-12. However, the figure for the year 2012-13 is nil. “How did this happen?” Prof Reddy says. He also says that the income of the university dropped from Rs 86 crore to Rs 3 crore in the following year. Another baffling figure in the university’s finances is the expenditure on security personnel. Prof Reddy says that at the most the university would be employing 250 people to provide security across its headquarters in Belgaum, and centres in Bangalore, Gulbarga and Mysore. “In two shifts, the university would perhaps be hiring around 250 people for security. For the amount that the university spent on security in 2012-13, it appears they have 500 people employed at Rs 6,000 a month,” Prof Reddy says. When contacted on Friday, Vice Chancellor of the University Maheshappa said he would give his response on Saturday, but did not received further calls from The News Minute.
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