The cost of education is set for an increase after the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1.
Principal director of Symbiosis Society Vidya Yeravdekar said, "It is good that the government has exempted education and healthcare sectors from the GST. However, the services provided by educational institutes will still going be taxed. Eventually, the cost of education per student is bound to increase in the given situation."
Yeravdekar cited the example of housekeeping and catering services that will be taxable at every educational institute after GST rollout. She said, "This will lead to a marginal rise in cost per student. Depending on the per cent rise, we will decide if we can absorb the rise in the annual hike in fees or spread it over two-three years."
C Raj Kumar, founding vice-chancellor of the O P Jindal Global University, said, "We must not increase the cost of higher education by burdening students with services attracting tax under the new regime. All the 712 central and state universities, 36,671 colleges and 11,445 standalone diploma-level institutes deserve to be completely exempted from this proposed levy under the forthcoming GST regime."
Co-founder and CEO of Edureka, an online learning platform offering instructor-led courses, Lovleen Bhatia, said, "Experts have predicted one lakh job opportunities in various sectors after the GST rollout. These jobs demand people to upskill themselves in specialized courses. But the proposed GST is going to make students shell out more from their pockets, thus, making the skilling process unaffordable. Therefore, there is an urgent need to revisit this."
An official of the SP Jain School of Global Management said, "Additional 3% payout may impact wallets of students and their parents. This will further which effect the education sector and the business."