Taxing time ahead for students, GST on CETs here to stay

Students, who are going to appear for entrance examinations like EAMCET and EDCET among others, must be prepared to pay more for application forms, courtesy the goods and services tax (GST). It is as much as 18 per cent! The Andhra Pradesh State Higher Education Council (APSCHE) has put forward a proposal before the State government to either reduce the tax or scrap it altogether. But for that to happen, the State government will have to take up the issue with the GST Council.

However, with no signs of any such discussion taking place till date, it looks like students will end up paying 18 per cent GST for every entrance exam that is conducted online, whether its EAMCET, EDCET or for that matter, IIT-JEE, NEET or CAT.“From next year onwards, there will be 18 per cent GST on all entrance examinations. Even in the State, it will be applicable for all university entrance examinations and other CETs. As 18 per cent is a bit on the higher side, we asked the State government to either get it reduced or scrapped.

We expected that it would be forwarded to the Union government  and perhaps, discussed in Parliament. But even our MPs did not raise this issue. So there is no option left for the students other than paying GST,” said P Narasimha Rao, a senior official of the APSCHE. Every year, two lakh students apply for EAMCET in Andhra Pradesh and over 80,000 of them apply for EAMCET in Telangana too. For general category and OBC students, each application costs Rs 450. If you add GST, it will come to around 481.

For examinations like NEET and JEE, the application costs over Rs 1000. It attracts GST of Rs 180-250. Since after Intermediate, most students apply for a minimum of five entrance tests, GST would entail considerable burden.“It is sad to know that the government is not concerned about GST on entrance examinations.

They pleaded with the Union government to reduce taxes on various sectors but here in education, it is 18 per cent, which is much more than GST on food at AC restaurants. They should take this seriously and scrap all taxes on entrance examinations,” demanded Noor Mohammad, SFI president.


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