The only agricultural and veterinary universities in Punjab, PAU and GADVASU, were allocated their required budget for their fixed expenses in the maiden budget of the state’s new Congress government.
According to figures from the office of Secretary Finance, Punjab, while Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana was allotted Rs 372.85 crore, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) was given Rs 72.31 crore, which is almost Rs 13 crore more than last year. GADVASU is now hoping to cover its deficits with the enhanced budget.
Speaking to The Indian Express, PPS Dhaliwal, Comptroller, GADVASU said, “With an additional Rs seven crore burden due to increased salaries, DA and pensions, we required at least Rs 70 crore for basic expenses this fiscal. Last year, we had received Rs 59 crore which was at least seven crore less than required. This year, we are hoping to cover our deficit with Rs 72 crore. Apart from basic requirement of Rs 70 crore this year, we had also asked for additional Rs 2 crore for pending arrears and backlogs, which has been sanctioned.”
However, GADVASU had also demanded Rs 20 crore under ‘planned budget’ for infrastructure and research projects, apart from basic expenditure which has not been cleared. “Probably, it was rejected,” said Dhaliwal.
“It was in 2012-13 last that an amount of Rs 3.15 crore was allocated for research and this research grant was under planned budget. Since then we haven’t received any planned budget. But at least this year, non-planned budget for the basic expenditures has been granted to cover the deficit which is satisfactory,” said Dhaliwal.
Meanwhile, PAU too has received budget of Rs 372.85 crore against requirement of at least Rs 350 crore.
“It is satisfying to see that agriculture sector has been given a push in this budget. However, we are yet to get details of the budget given to PAU, so I cannot comment on it. But for fixed expenses, the figure seems enough,” said Sandeep Kapur, Comptroller, PAU.
Apart from substantial increase in budget of GADVASU, the finance minister has also announced that a government piggery farm at Nabha in Patiala will be upgraded and modernised.
Two new piggery breeding farms have also been announced in Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur.
Rs 110 crore has been announced for modernisation of milk plants in Mohali, Jalandhar and Amritsar.
Finance minister Manpreet Badal said, “We have given both varsities what they had demanded after meetings with their heads.”