Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The Supreme Court of Bangladesh stayed on Tuesday a High Court order declaring illegal the imposition of 7.5 percent value added tax (VAT) on tuition fees of English medium schools.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice SK Sinha passed the order following a petition filed by National Board of Revenue (NBR) seeking a stay on the High Court verdict.
The Appellate Division also asked the NBR to file a leave to appeal petition with the court by January 29 against the High Court order.
The court also fixed January 29 for the next hearing.
Following a writ petition, the High Court on December 13 last year declared the imposition of VAT on tuition fees of English medium schools illegal.
It also directed the authorities concerned to stop collecting VAT from January next year.
In 2010, the government imposed 4.5 percent VAT on fees and services in English medium schools.
In the budget for fiscal 2014-15, the VAT was raised to 7.5 percent.
The 7.5 percent VAT on private universities’ tuition fees sparked a wave of protests throughout Bangladesh, compelling the authorities to withdraw the VAT.
Encouraged by such protests, the guardians of English medium school students also protested and demonstrated in Dhaka urging a withdrawal of the 7.5 percent VAT.
Two guardians — Faizul Islam and Selim Azam — filed the petition with the HC, seeking cancellation of VAT on English medium schools.
On September 17, 2015, the HC stayed for six months the collection of value added tax on tuition fees of English medium school students.
On October 14, 2015, the Supreme Court stayed an HC order that halted the 7.5 VAT on the English medium schools’ tuition fees.
Later, the HC declared illegal the imposition of 7.5 percent value added tax (VAT) on the tuition fees of the English medium schools on December 12.