20-day ultimatum to roll back EST burden

Kathmandu, March 3:

The Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation Nepal (PABSON) today issued a 20-day ultimatum to the government to scrap the Education Service Tax. Submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the PABSON asked the government to unconditionally scrap the five per cent Education Service Tax imposed by the government on private schools within 20 days.

PABSON president Bhoj Bahadur Shah told this daily that they also submitted a five-point proposal approved by their seventh national general assembly and urged the PM to immediately resolve the issue.

“We will organise interactions with students and parents to come up with a common voice against EST which is a social injustice and is against international norms,” Shah added.

He also said PABSON would also interact with different political parties and Association of Private Institutions of Nepal (APIN) on the issue. APIN is a group of six associations of private educational institutions — PABSON, N-PABSAN, Higher Secondary Schools’ Association of Nepal, Association of Private Health Institutions of Nepal, Association of Engineering Colleges of Nepal and Forum For Health and Technical Science Nepal. According to Shah, the six associations had expressed solidarity with PABSON’s proposals and programmes. They will again meet on Thursday to formulate further protests.

PABSON’s five-point proposal includes guarantee for the continuity and security of private schools, scrapping of the EST without any condition, compensation to private schools damaged during the insurgency, formulation of institutional educational law and preventing the intervention of Inland Revenue Department in private schools.

Shah also warned that the PABSON would come up with strong protests if the government failed to address the demands within the stipulated time.