Pune: Despite the orders to curtail unnecessary expenses during the Covid-19 outbreak crisis, the Finance and Accounts Department of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has disbursed Rs 60 lakh from its 'Central Pool' funds to its employees. Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar has ordered the department to return the money in the university's bank account, but no progress has been made so far.
The management council of SPPU had appointed a committee in September 2018 to curtail the unnecessary expenses incurred by various departments of the university. Accordingly, the committee had submitted a report which was accepted and its implementation started from April 1, 2019. This order had brought under control the distribution and disbursal of all central pool funds and other confidential work charges. This year, due to the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent financial crisis, the university management had called for measures of financial prudence.
Meanwhile, the finance and accounts department of SPPU had received Rs 60 lakh amount in their central pool funds for various biennial projects. This amount was disbursed into bank accounts of their employees recently. But this disbursal itself was termed 'illegal' as it went against the management council orders.
What is a 'Central Pool?'
Several departments of the Pune University receive funds, grants for various research and projects from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and central government. These funds are used under different heads like research, human resources, transport and other miscellaneous work. The finance and accounts department also helps these departments in their projects and hence a 15 per cent of amount from these funds are transferred to the finance and accounts department. This amount is further divided into the officers and staff as per their salary structure. The total amount received by the finance and accounts department is called 'Central Pool'.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar was recently made aware of the disbursal of Rs 60 lakh from the central pool fund. He has ordered and written to Finance and Accounts Officer CA Atul Patankar to return and refund this amount in the bank account of Pune University. So far, no action has been initiated on Dr Karmalkar's orders. Dr Karmalkar was unavailable over the phone for comments on this issue, despite several calls made to him.
Finance and Accounts Officer CA Atul Patankar said, "We have disbursed the central pool funds and VC Dr Karmalkar has asked to return these funds. We are in the process of refunding it."