Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-In the backdrop of the students’ demonstration, the government of Bangladesh has decided to withdraw the vat on tuition fees of private universities, medicals and engineering colleges.
The decision of withdrawing the vat came as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the finance ministry to call it off during a regular cabinet meeting at Bangladesh Secretariat on Monday.
Following the PM’s direction, the finance ministry, issued a press release, signed by Senior Information Officer Md Shahedur Rahman.
“The government does not want to create any interruption at educational institutions and sufferings in public life. Considering the issue, the government has decided to withdraw the 7.5 per cent vat imposed on private universities, medicals and engineering colleges,” reads the press statement.
The students of different private universities in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet protested from September 9, blocking key streets and disrupting traffic movement to eliminate the vat imposed on the higher education.
When the decision of the cabinet reached to the demonstrating students, they burst into joy and began to celebrate their victory.
Earlier, they declared to continue the demonstration remaining on the key streets till their demand is meet up.
Meanwhile, the media reports said that the demonstrating students started to return to their respective campuses as their demand was entertained.
Since the agitation began on September 9, the dwellers of major cities in Bangladesh suffered a lot as the students of the private universities were demonstrating, blocking the roads and streets.
The city dwellers were seen to walk in masses to reach their destinations.
Sometimes, they resorted on rickshaws which were the lone mood of transport in the blockade-prone areas.
Taking the advantages of the situation, the rickshaw-pullers hiked the fare, worsening the circumstances.
The school kids were the worse sufferer of the demonstration.
AMA Muhith, the present finance minister of Bangladesh Awami League government, first introduced a 10 per cent vat upon higher education in private universities in the draft of budget 2015-16.
Upon the strong protestation, the amount of vat was reduced to 7.5 per cent.
On 22 June, law enforcement authorities foiled a procession of private university students heading for the finance ministry building to press home their demands.
In the start of August, 2015 the government announced they would not withdraw the vat and the students must pay the vat which sparked outrage among students.
On September 9, police open fired on a protestation by the students of East West University in Dhaka, initiating the mass protest.
This caused an outburst and the cause was immediately supported by thousand other students from different universities.
The situation took momentum on September 10, as students from different private universities blockaded roads over vat on tuition fees.
The protestation was sparked by controversial statements by Finance Minister Muhith but he stood firm on the announcement for the vat to stay.
The government also issued a circular stating the vat was imposed on the private university authorities and the students need not pay.