LAHORE: August 13:At a time when public sector universities are starved of funding, the cheque of Rs8.7 million, presented by the city government to the Punjab University (PU) for holding Punjab government’s ceremony for distribution of laptops, has bounced.
Sources, privy to the development, said the city government has assured the university to issue a new cheque of similar amount on Monday (today). A mega event to distribute laptops among the PU students under the Punjab government’s e-Youth Initiative was held at the Punjab University on March 23. PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif presided over the ceremony as chief guest which was attended by over 20,000 PU students. The Punjab government had to face a lot of criticism for the ceremony as it was termed a “political” gathering. At first, the PU management was supposed to bear the expenses for the ceremony and it had even allocated Rs30 million for this purpose. But later, the Punjab government announced that the amount, spent on the ceremony, would be reimbursed to the university through the city government. The LHC while hearing a petition also ordered the city government to reimburse the PU amount spent on the laptop distribution ceremony. The sources further said the city government had recently issued a cheque worth Rs8.7 million to the Punjab University which bounced on August 5.
They also said the city government had provided the cheque but the amount was not transferred owing to which the same could not be transferred to the PU accounts. They added that when Lahore District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal was approached, he assured that a new cheque would be issued soon. It is important to mention here that owing to meagre funding to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) from the Federal government, the public universities across the country have already been crying over budgetary cut this year. The News could not reach DCO Noorul Amin Mengal despite repeated attempts on his cell phone.
This scribe was asked to contact the personal staff officer to the DCO, Tariq Zaman, who said the cheque had not bounced rather it was not cleared by the AG’s Office owing to the ongoing strike. He, however, said a new cheque would be issued to the university within a couple of days and the AG’s Office would be asked to clear the amount at the earliest since the LHC had also directed the city government to reimburse the amount.The news.