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Now, schools in Gujarat demand property tax waiver

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  • Cite mounting expenses, inadequate funds; demand comes after CM Vijay Rupani announced waiver for gyms, multiplexes, theatres, hotels and others

Gandhinagar: Close on heels of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announcing property tax waiver for commercial establishments like hotels, restaurants, gyms, multiplexes and cinema halls that were closed completely because of the pandemic, demands for similar relief have been coming from other quarters as well.

In the latest development on this front, approximately 20,000 schools in the state have sought property tax waiver. In addition, those that have been operating out of rented premises have sought education cess waiver as well. The Gujarat State School Management Association has written a letter to Rupani in this regard.

Making an appeal to the CM, association president Bhaskar Patel said that schools and hostels have remained closed since the pandemic struck in 2020. Grant-in-aid schools have been finding it difficult to meet their expenses, he argued.

Gujarat has a total of 7,180 grant-in-aid school – 4,380 secondary and 2,800 higher secondary. There are around 10,000 self-financed schools. Besides these, there around 3,500 government schools, trust-run schools, community schools and those running on no-profit-no-loss basis which have been lying closed for more than a year now. Looking at the current situation, it is still not possible to reopen them, Patel said,

He added that schools were unable to meet their regular expenses from the grant money being provided to them. He said that if the education cess was removed, these schools could use that money to fund other expenses.

“Religious places have been exempted from general tax. Schools are temples of learning. So they too should get this benefit,” Patel added in his letter.

60% private schools haven’t got full fees of last year

Several parents had been unable to pay school fees last year due to job losses or salary cuts last year. The state government had announced 25 per cent fee reduction because of this. According to Patel, around 60 per cent private schools have still not received the full fees of last year

 

 

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