Friday, July 07, 2017

MU broke 100 FDs in 22 months: RTI data

The Hindu: Mumbai: Friday, July 07, 2017.
Mumbai University, which has for long boasted of a surplus annual budget, has in the last 22 months found its banking plans gone awry with the university effecting premature withdrawals of over Rs.110 crore from 100 fixed deposits (FDs) accounts with seven banks.
As per the information availed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, activist Anil Galgali found that between November 20, 2015, and April 28, 2017, Rs.110.87 crore maintained as FDs with Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Hyderabad, Indian Overseas Bank, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, and Syndicate Bank were withdrawn and used for various expenditures. While the premature foreclosure means the FDs did not earn the four-fold growth in the initial corpus, the university was able to earn an interest of Rs.3.55 crore on the FDs.
As per the data provided by the finance and accounts department, 11 FDs of Rs.90 lakh each, two FDs of Rs.50 lakh each, and one FD of Rs.60 lakh were withdrawn prematurely on November 20, 2015. On January 7, 2016, six FDs of Rs.90 lakh each were prematurely broken under the discretionary powers held by Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh.
Similarly, on February 8, 2016, six FDs of Rs.99 lakh each, five FDs of Rs.90 lakh each, and two FDs of Rs.2.85 crore and Rs.20 lakh were prematurely withdrawn. Among other withdrawals were 15 distinct FDs of Rs.99 lakh each (and a Rs.25-lakh FD) on March 23, 2016, and 21 FDs of Rs.99 lakh each and one FD of Rs.20 lakh were withdrawn on June 24, 2016.
The Maharashtra Universities Accounts Code 1.72 bestows upon the V-C the powers to maintain bank deposits and make investments.
Mr. Galgali, however, questioned the single tranche withdrawals of multiple FDs on the same date. “This indicates, either a mismanagement of the banking accounts or absolutely naive policies being followed in respect of the financial administration. What could possibly explain the fact that all these FDs with tenures of one year were rampantly withdrawn prematurely by breaking 20 FDs on a single day.”
M.A. Khan, Registrar, Mumbai University, in a statement said, “As part of its financial planning, the university keeps its reserve funds in FD and breaks it whenever required. We have not received anything from the government for salary since April 1. The monthly salary expenses are Rs.6 to Rs.7 crore for around 2,500 plus employees. In addition, the pension of many employees has become a liability. Seven major construction works are nearing completion. Also, high-level computerisation of the several processes at the administration is on. These issues are demanding more money and hence from time to time expenses are made following the due process.”