According to most experts the rolling out GST will not have an immediate effect on the prices in education sector but according to various educationists this is not the case and students and parents will be affected by this in more than one ways.
Competitive exam coaching fee
Schools and colleges are exempted from taxes but the parents are worried about the notice given by the coaching classes on the rise in the tuition fee.
Shazia Patel's twins are preparing for the Std XII board exams and for her GST means a substantial rise in the expenditure. “I am already paying Rs 4,000 per month for each childʼs monthly tuition fee. Their engineering coaching classes will cost me at least Rs 1.5 lakh. I will have to pay an additional 3 per cent on all these fees. This is in addition to all the other costs that will increase,” she lamented.
Director of IIT Prakashan agreed on the fact that increased tuition costs will affect the parents significantly. “While taking into account the exemptions for educational fees, the government does not consider coaching classes. They may be considered a luxury but they are, in fact, a necessity, especially for students preparing for competitive exams. Unfortunately, the fees of such classes are high.. sometimes they are over Rs one lakh, much higher than school or college fees. We are going to start passing on the additional 3 per cent tax burden to parents from next month, so yes, it will affect them,” he said.
Cost of living for the students
Pune is an education hub and many students from across the country come to Pune to pursue higher education. Educationists said that the impact of the GST on these students will be inevitable.
“Our college fees may not increase but these students need transport, mess and canteens, hostels and many other services, where the impact of GST can be seen. Hence, their living costs are likely to get affected,” said Swati Mujumdar, director, Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning.
“Food-related expenses, especially dining out, will cost me much more now. We hostelites usually prefer dining out, or eating in canteens and dining halls, so we will be affected by GST. Even watching movies at multiplexes will become more expensive,” said Bijit Somani, a final year student of chartered accountancy.