Students of private universities on Friday demanded the cancellation of the decision of imposing 15percent tax on private colleges and universities in the country.
According to the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2021-22, private universities, and medical, dental and engineering colleges, including the ones offering IT education, will have to pay 15 percent tax.
Students from different private universities made the demand at a press conference under the banner of “No Vat on Education” at Madhur Canteen on Dhaka University (DU) campus.
On behalf of the students, Mukto Rezowan, a student of European University Bangladesh, read out a written statement.
He said, “As education is not a product, no tax can be imposed on the sector. The university authorities will collect the tax levied on the income of private colleges and universities from the students. This tax has been indirectly imposed on students."
“We made the government withdraw its previous attempts to impose illegal VAT on education in 2015 through movement. And this time, we will continue movement until the withdrawal of such VAT,” he added.
Claiming that no importance has been given to education sector in the budget this time, he said, “We can see that the allocation for the education sector in the proposed budget has decreased by 0.036 percent compared to the total GDP of the previous budget. This can never be an education-friendly budget.”
Besides, the students put forward their six-point demand, including the repeal of 15 percent tax on private universities.
Their other demands are ensuring audit on private universities’ annual transition by University Grants Commission (UGC), introducing uniform tuition fee policy for all private universities considering the socio-economic condition of the country, launching uniform grading system for all private universities, increasing allocation in research sector, providing incentives for students of all private universities.
The students threatened that they will go for a tougher movement if their demands are not met by June 10.
Shaon Biswas, a student of Stamford University, Shahriar Apurba, a student of Eastern University, Shahjahan Shanto, a student of South Asian University of Bangladesh, Rakibul Islam Sujan, a student of World University Bangladesh and Pritam Fakir, a student of Green University, were present at the press conference.