No funds to pay monthly pensions: Madras University – The Hindu

Chennai News

The University of Madras has acknowledged that its pension fund is inadequate to pay monthly pensions and that it had to withdraw a total of ₹16.37 crore, on two occasions, from its endowment fund to pay salaries and pensions.

The university administration said this in its written reply to DMK MLA from Madhavaram constituency, S. Sudarsanam, during the Senate meeting on Saturday.

Mr. Sudarsanam, a nominated member of the Senate, had earlier submitted questions regarding the financial situation of the university, ahead of the Senate meeting. He had asked in particular whether endowment funds were diverted for other purposes and whether the administration had powers to do so. He had also asked whether the university was in a position to pay monthly pension.

The university said that it withdrew ₹8.37 crore in June and ₹8 crore in July from the endowment fund, as a temporary measure, to pay pensions and salaries. It said the same would be credited back, on receipt of certain grants towards salaries due from the Tamil Nadu government, for 2018-2019.

The university said its Syndicate had powers to utilise the endowment funds for other purposes, if needed, as Section 19(b) of the Madras University Act gave powers to hold, control and administer the properties and funds of the university. According to the reply, the Syndicate, in its meeting on August 11, 2017, authorised the Vice-Chancellor to transfer required funds from one head to another. Further, the Syndicate, on June 24, 2020, resolved that endowment funds can be utilised to meet salaries, pensions and other obligatory budgetary expenses. On the question about settlement of retirement benefits, the university said it had been settled for all retired employees until February, 2018.

Acknowledging that its pension fund was insufficient to meet monthly payments to pensioners and family pensioners, it said it had sought financial assistance from the State government.

The issue of a large number of vacancies remaining unfilled was also raised by a few members at the meeting. This is the first Senate meeting hosted by Vice-Chancellor S. Gowri, who took charge in August.