BNP leader Goyeshwar Chandra Roy has said that VAT has been imposed on the tuition fees of private universities to implement the ‘jumbo’ budget presented by the finance minister.
AMA Muhith presented around Tk 3 trillion budget for 2015-16 fiscal year. It is 20 percent more than the previous year.
“From where will the money for the budget come? The government has no option but to pickpocket and rob.
“They have to collect the money. No matter whether it is from students or children,” Roy told a discussion on Friday.
“Parents spend a large amount of money to send their children to a private university. The finance minister is now even eyeing that money,” he said.
“The finance minister will have to roam with scissors to pickpocket people after some days,” he added.
Students have been demonstrating since 7.5 percent VAT was imposed on tuition fee of private universities, and medical and engineering colleges.
On Wednesday, police charged baton and fired rubber bullets on demonstrating students of East West University at Rampura.
Traffic in capital Dhaka came to a halt when students of several private universities blocked key streets on Thursday.
The National Board of Revenue then issued a statement clarifying that the university authorities, not the students, would pay the VAT.
It also said there was no scope to hike tuition fee as the VAT was ‘already included in it’.
BNP Standing Committee member Roy on Friday said, “The private university students used to be generally busy on Facebook and the internet, they never took to the street.
“But the government forced them to take to the street by imposing the VAT.”
Roy also said the government was ‘discouraging’ higher education.
“Students are given GPA 5 abundantly in SSC and HSC examinations. But they cannot get admission anywhere. Will they buy pickles with GPA-5?” he asked.
“How many government institutes are there where the students can study with a tuition fee of Tk 10-20? The government cannot provide seats to even 25 percent students at the public universities and colleges,” he said.