Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudi has written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, urging her to exempt educational services from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
In his letter, the Minister said according to the Central Tax (Rate) notification, issued on June 28, 2017, education was exempted from the GST.
He said educational services were classified under the heading 9992, which was subdivided into six groups, which were exempted from GST.
These included services provided by educational institutions to students, faculty and staff.
The State’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) now stands at 51.4, against the national average of 27.1.
“Tamil Nadu has a student strength of 35.25 lakh, pursuing higher education in arts and science, engineering, law and medicine,” the Minister wrote, adding: “The levying of GST can potentially lead to a decrease in GER and an increase in the number of dropouts, jeopardising the academic career of aspiring students.”
The GST will adversely affect students from rural areas and economically weaker backgrounds. It will cause hardships to parents due to the additional financial burden, Mr. Ponmudi added.