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July 4, 2020

Fuuast to deduct salaries of staffers involved in financial fraud

Karachi

July 4, 2020

After the first phase of an inquiry into medical allowance’s illegal utilisation, the finance department of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast) on Friday announced the recovery of the medical allowance illegally consumed by over 50 blue-eyed employees of the varsity in the tenures of last three vice chancellors.

According to the Fuuast spokesperson, the amount would be deducted from the salaries of those employees who were unable to clarify their positions during the inquiry. “Some of them even didn’t appear before the investigation team.”

The varsity administration, however, has issued an official notification to inform the faulty employees who were involved in the misuse of public funds. Last month, Fuuast acting vice chancellor Prof Dr Arif Zubair after receiving complaints initiated an inquiry, seeking names of those who withdrew illegal medical allowance from the varsity accounts During the investigation, it has been noted that the amount illegally spent by the blue-eyed employees, including teaching and non-teaching staff, in the name of medical amenities are in millions of rupees.

They have treated their distant relatives, brothers-in-law, mothers-in-law and cousins in the most expensive hospitals of Karachi and Islamabad from the varsity’s medical allowance. Likewise, they have claimed excessive allowances from the varsity, one of the inquiry team members told The News.

“Not only did they take unfair advantage of the medical facility for themselves, but they also sent claims worth millions of rupees for their relatives in the account of medical aid, which led to a shortage of medical funds in the varsity”.

According to the rules of the university, Rs300,000 for normal medical treatment and up to Rs600,000 for contagious disease or accident can be sanctioned. But the inquiry report reveals that in the tenures of three former VCs, namely Dr Zafar Iqbal, Suleiman D Muhammad and Dr Syed Altaf Hussain, many teachers and staffers were favoured and they received more than Rs600,000.

Also, the official statement issued by the public relations department on Thursday reads: “Those who illegally received medical allowance are making efforts to save their jobs and avoid any disciplinary actions. But such elements will certainly be dealt as per law. However, the acting vice chancellor has assured the staffers that until the completion of the inquiry, no action will be taken against any of employee.”

It adds: “The investigation team will provide a fair opportunity of defence to the employees accused of illegally withdrawing medical allowances to make the judicious process transparent”.

At present, it has been decided that the illegally utilised amounts would be recovered by deducting the salaries of the beneficiaries every month. “Everyone will have ample opportunity to present their position in the investigation. There is no need to panic if someone has done nothing wrong, but the allegedly involved people will face complete investigation.”