Will hike fees if govt doesn't exempt GST for services: pvt varsities

Private universities have threatened to hike student fees from next academic year if the government fails to exempt services like transport and housekeeping which they outsource from GST.

The Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI), a conglomerate of 300 private varsities and 3000 colleges, on Thursday said it would raise the issue at next week's GST Council meeting in Guwahati.

"We raised the issue in the last GST council meeting and will be raising it once again in its next meeting," EPSI treasurer Prashant Bhalla told reporters here.

The EPSI has been demanding GST exemption for services like transportation, housekeeping, security and catering that institutions outsource since they add to the overall cost of education by 11-12%, he said.

"If the government does not accede to our request, institutions will have no option but to transfer the burden to students. Tuition fee may be hiked by about 5% in case the issue is not resolved," Bhalla added.

The EPSI has submitted a memorandum to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, apprising him of "the serious implications" of GST imposed on the outsourced services.

"Education and health services are free from GST, but services procured by institutions like housekeeping and transportation carry GST. Various faculties are also liable to be brought under the tax regime, something unprecedented in the past," another EPSI member said.

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