This tax is the opposite of what the government should be doing to aid educational institutions
It is extremely disappointing, to say the least, to see the 15% tax that has been imposed on private universities in the next fiscal year. This is, no doubt, a step backward when it comes to supporting education institutions in the country.
Already, there have been numerous criticisms directed at the budget for its failure to address education adequately and devise ways to support its growth and betterment -- this newspaper too has editorialized this point. Yet, with this hefty tax imposed on private universities, it appears that, once again, the government is failing to do what it fails to do every year -- widen its tax bracket -- and instead, is attempting to generate its tax revenue by squeezing existing sources who are already paying their share.
It is no wonder that the Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) said that the proposal to impose the tax has left all stakeholders, including students and their guardians, concerned -- and they have every right to be frustrated and apprehensive. It must also be remembered that private universities are non-profit entities and as such, taxing them at the equivalent rate as for-profit institutions not only makes little sense, but as per Private University Act, 2010, appears to be unlawful as well.
Either way, one thing cannot be denied: This tax is the opposite of what the government should be doing to aid educational institutions -- particularly as a whole generation of students struggles with receiving the right education for their personal growth and development to contribute to Bangladesh in the future. This tax is in no way in line with the avowed pro-growth direction of the budget as a whole.