EST to fund studies of poor: PM

Kathmandu, December 16:

In a written explanation to the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, today, stated that the decision to levy education service tax (EST) on private schools was not against the government’s policy of free education.

The PM stated that as only the children of higher class people study in private schools, the tax would not hit the lower class people.

The Prime Minister was responding to a show cause notice issued by the Supreme Court acting on a public interest litigation challenging the levying of education service tax. “The tax will help provide free education to the children of the remote areas,” he added.

The PM reply states that the government, according to Article 17 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007, respected the right of the people to attain education through appropriate distribution of resources of the government and the smooth running of the policy on education.

“The government will allocate a budget for the public schools to ensure free education to the children in the remote areas after collecting the five per cent of EST from private schools,” he added.

Challenging the newly imposed tax, Saroj Raj Gosai, on behalf of the Institutional Schools Association Nepal, had filed the writ petition in the apex court. The apex court is examining the case though it has refused to issue a stay order.