GST on school bags irks people

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Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 26

Parents and vigilante groups are unhappy over the Union Government for imposing 28 per cent GST on school bags.

Arshdeep Kaur, a mother of two primary students, says high fees and stationery charges are already burning hole in their pockets. “The weight of school bags is being increased by the schools by stuffing these with books published by private publishers. The government doesn’t bother to restrict the weight of school bags in accordance with the norms, but when it comes to increasing taxes, the implementation goes all out with full force,” she said.

She added that the stress of high number of books was really bothersome for students and a concern for the parents. She said successive governments and the Education Department did a little to redress the problems of parents and students.

MK Sharma, president, Punjab Parents’ Association, in a communiqué to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely requested him to review the applicability of the GST on school bags. He opined that the school bag was not a luxury item while considering it in the category of goods of daily needs, the lowest slab of GST should be applied on this article. He added that it was really surprising as the same 28 per cent GST is applicable on gun.

Father of two school going children, Vishal Joshi, said, a lot of students suffer from back pain and spinal pain due to the burden of heavy bags. He said books and note books of the primary students must be kept at school as per the norms. However, it was rarely followed.

He said many schools had introduced books printed and published by private publishers, overlooking the NCERT books. He said, “The NCERT books are well researched and their cost is very low. Similar are the PSEB books.”

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