Massive financial and administrative irregularities have been unearthed in the financial accounts of public universities and education board in Sindh. According to sources, the officials were not only involved in the misappropriation of funds but were also transferring the money between accounts, violating the rules that govern the utilization of funds and appointments of managerial personnel’s.
According to the “Audit Report on the Accounts of Government of Sindh Audit Year 2017-18”, submitted to the Sindh Assembly, the auditor general revealed that NED University of Engineering, Karachi failed in completing their doctoral degrees within the stipulated timeframe, causing a loss of Rs62.3 million to the government. During the audit of VC NED, the committee observed that the university recommended eight assistant professors or associate professors for doctoral scholarship programmes to a number of foreign universities for a period of three years. The estimated cost of the plan was Rs62.377 million. To add, none of the professors completed their degree programmes within the stipulated timeframe, which cause massive loses of finance and quality of education provided to students at the varsity.
“It creates doubts on the selection of proper persons recommended for scholarships, or deliberate inefficiency due to ill intention shown by teaching staff aboard. Even after spending six years, extensions are still being granted to them. This is totally against the rules,” the auditor general added.
The audit also expressed their reservations over the appointment criteria’s followed at NED, highlighting how undue favours were being granted for different hirings at the varsity.
The audit said Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto University (SMBBU), Larkana expended Rs9.5 million in 2015-16 to purchase new vehicles, despite there was a ban on purchasing vehicles in those years. The audit also says that the decision was made without seeking approval from the Sindh chief minister, who administers the education boards and universities in the province.
The auditor general also observed that the construction of Benazir Institute of Nursing and Community Health Science (BINACHS) at an estimated cost of Rs117 million, along with the construction of Amin Block worth Rs58 million were started in SMBBU, Larkana, but the contractor left in between. “Neither the management took any action against the defaulter, nor penalised or blacklisted them,” the AG added.
Meanwhile, the audit of the Liaquat University of Medical Science, Jamshoro revealed that Rs75.5 million was expended on the establishment of Bilawal Medical College, Jamshoro, from the approved budget of the varsity which is a clear-cut violation of the budgetary policies of the Higher Education Commission.