Aftab Mohmand

PESHAWAR: The University of Peshawar has been grappling with a severe financial crisis, resulting in the delay of salaries and pensions for its employees. In an urgent letter addressed to the Department of Higher Education, Vice-Chancellor Muhammad Idris shed light on the university’s dire financial situation.

According to the letter, the university has been facing a prolonged financial crisis for several years, leading to the installment-based payment of pensions and the suspension of family pension payments.

The university has been confronted with legal action from numerous pensioners who have sought intervention due to the cessation of pension disbursements. In response, the university informed the court about the financial deficit and clarified that the former provincial cabinet had not approved the required funds, the letter stated.

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Speaking on behalf of the university, spokesperson Mohammad Nauman informed TNN that the financial crisis has persisted for many years, attributing it to increasing expenses over time and the Higher Education Commission’s withdrawal of support a few years ago. Similar to other universities, the University of Peshawar has also experienced budget cuts on an annual basis.

Nauman further explained the urgency behind the letter to the Higher Education Department, highlighting that the provincial government owes the university approximately Rs. 100 million, with an outstanding balance of around Rs. 90 crores from the Higher Education Commission.

The monthly expenses of the University of Peshawar, which encompass salaries, pension payments, utility expenses, and more, amount to approximately Rs. 350 million. However, the failure to make timely payments during a recent employee strike, which lasted over 40 days, has exacerbated the current financial crisis.

When questioned about the university’s financial burden, Nauman clarified that in addition to its own expenses, the University of Peshawar continues to shoulder the responsibility of disbursing pensions to retired employees of the Islamia College Peshawar, which was recently granted university status. Furthermore, the university campus houses other institutions such as the Engineering University and Khyber Medical College, whose infrastructure maintenance and utility bills are also managed by the University of Peshawar.

It is worth noting that the University of Peshawar accommodates over 17,000 students across more than 40 departments. It ranks sixth nationwide in terms of performance and holds the top position among universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, the lack of government support over the past several years has contributed to recurring financial crises within the university.