What does the latest VAT on education amid protests from students indicate about the role of government?
The government has said it would not withdraw 7.5 per cent VAT on education despite popular demand from private university students and the first such large-scale protest. Instead, it said that the universities would have to pay the VAT without explaining how they would ensure students would not be affected due to the imposition. New Age Youth asked members of the youth about how they view the government’s role at imposing VAT on education and what implications it has on education and public support.
There is a misconception about the private university students that they all belong to affluent background, which is not always true. Under this false impression, if the government imposes such a huge burden on the students then it is really unfair because students finance a university’s operation and any burden on the university eventually has to be borne by the students.
Muktadir Anzan (23)
Fifth semester student, Computer Science and Engineering
United International University
Education makes you understand about the things that are right or wrong around you. In a recent press conference our finance minister said 7.5 per cent of 1,000 takas is 75 takas. So it is quite clear that our government counts money over education.
The government has shown complete failure here. Students and their parents would not feed the luxury of the government by paying them value added tax on basic needs. Students are not going to give them tax because they go to universities to study not to get entertained.
It is true that private university owners make profit from tuition fees, but originally they get permission from University Grants Commission as nonprofit organisations. So any attempt to impose VAT will actually give them legitimacy to make profit, which is clearly unacceptable. The new declaration from NBR is clearly not sufficient to pacify the anger. We have not been assured how boldly the government will react when universities increase tuition
fees for students.
Either they are blind or just arrogant. They should have rational for imposing VAT on education, which is not a commodity. Instead, they are once again indulging into political rhetoric of how affluent private university students are and how much their pocket money is. The government should face the students and come to a decision based on rational grounds.
I think government has failed to resolve the issue and they are confused about what to do. Education is our basic need. This raises a question about the existence of republic because the government is overlooking popular demand of students. We hope and pray that the government comes up with an affirmative decision before the situation gets worse.
The government is clearly thinking about the budget deficit, which only has a short time benefit. For this they are unfairly burdening the education sector, which will hurt the country in the long run. Unfortunately they are not looking forward. What they are doing will break the backbone of our nation.
First of all, Imposing vat on education, which is not even a luxury good, is a display of inefficiency on the governance end. Secondly, without withdrawing the VAT and rather transferring the risk from students to universities is nothing but an artful way of eschewing responsibility.