Dhaka University could not spend allocated budget for research

Curzon Hall, Dhaka University
Curzon Hall, Dhaka UniversityFile photo

The total amount allocated for researches at Dhaka University was over Tk 408 million for the 2019-20 fiscal, but the total expenditure has been estimated about Tk 287 million in the revised budget. This means, the university could not be able to spend the total budgetary allocation for research.

The university authorities came up with the conclusion as they analysed last fiscal’s revised budget before drafting and announcing the main budget for fiscal 2020-21 on 23 July.

On that day, DU vice chancellor placed a Tk 8.6956 billion budget in an annual session held at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban at the university.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) will provide Tk 7.4856 billion and Tk 710 million will be provided from the university’s internal income sources including fees from students, admission fees, salaries and allowances along with other own sources. The rest of Tk 505 million or 5.81 per cent is deficit.

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Still less allocation for research

Last year, Dhaka University had the main budget of Tk 8.1042 billion. Of it, Tk 408.07 million was allocated for research which is 5.4 per cent of the total budget while the allocation had been 6.66 per cent in the preceding year. This means allocation for research is on a gradual decline at Dhaka University.

This year, Tk 409 million has been allocated for researches, which is 4.7 per cent of the total budget.

Of the total, Tk 1.391 billion will be spent to set up laboratory equipment for a number of departments and faculties, while Tk 80 million has been allotted for research allowance for teachers. Another Tk 95 million has been allocated for research fund.

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Allocation for other sectors and budget deficit

Like previous year, a big chunk of the budget will be spent for salary and allowances.

Of the amount, 30.71 per cent has been allocated for salary, 24.81 per cent for allowance, 22.77 per cent for supply and service expense, 14.38 per cent for pension and retirement benefits, 3.52 per cent for capital grant, and 2.72 per cent for other grants.

The university had been deficit in the budget for last three years. Last year, the deficit has been 5.25 per cent.

As the offices of Dhaka University have been closed since last March due to COVID-19 outbreak, the financial data could not be collected properly, said treasurer Md. Kamal Uddin.

In the preface to the budget Kamal uddin said several allocations have been made as per assumption despite the authorities had tried to introduce a flawless budget following regulations. He said if any amendment or coordination of allotment required they would be carried out in the revised budget of 2020-21.

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“Education and researches being hampered due to lack of govt insight"

The education and research activities of the university are being seriously hampered due to lack of government insight in the allotment and the university administrators not following regulations, said kamal Uddin who is also a teacher of business studies at DU.

A disaster is eminent if the government along with the DU authorities do not take fast action to control the degradation of education standard at DU, he commented in the preface.

Regarding the recent inclusion of online classes due to COVID-19, Kamal Uddin said it requires Tk 400 million if each of 20,000 students is allotted Tk 20,000 for smart phone and added that nearly Tk 100 million could be saved if the basic salary of the fifth or upper-grade teachers or officials can be reduced by 3 to 5 per cent for a year.

The university can also provide Tk 100 million from its own fund. The rest of Tk 200 million can be provided from development fund of the university. Or DU can ask for special allocation of Tk 500 million from the government, the preface read.