2015 Bangladesh student protests against VAT on education

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Students holding a "No VAT on education" placard.

The 2015 Bangladesh student protests on "No VAT on Education" were protests by students of private universities in Bangladesh demanding the VAT imposed on higher education in private universities be eliminated.[1][2] The present Finance Minister of the Bangladesh Awami League government first introduced a 10% VAT upon higher education in private universities in the draft of budget of 2015–16.[3] Following strong opposition, the VAT was reduced to 7.5%.[4] The imposed VAT was withdrawn by the finance division after a cabinet meeting on 14 September 2015.

History[edit]

Previous government tried to impose similar VAT on private university tuition fee in 2010, but had to revoke their decision as students protested strongly.

Protests[edit]

Private university students in Uttara,Dhaka protest VAT on tuition fees.

On 22 June, law enforcement authorities foiled a procession of private university students heading for the finance ministry building to press home their demands.[4]

At the start of August 2015 the government announced they would not withdraw the VAT and that students must pay it.[5] The news sparked outrage among students. On 9 September, police opened fire on a protest by the students of East West University.[6] This caused outrage and immediate support for the cause by thousands of other students from different universities.[7] On 10 September, road blockades were carried out by students from different private universities to protest the VAT on tuition fees.[8][9] The protest was sparked by controversial statements by the minister of finance, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith but he stood firm on the decision for the VAT to stay.[10] The government also issued a circular stating the VAT was only imposed on the private university authorities and the students need not pay.[11]

Incidents[edit]

There were two notable incident. First one happened at Dhanmondi 27, private universities students were attacked two times in a row[12] and the second one happened at Banani-Kakoli Square.[when?]

Result[edit]

On 14 September 2015 at a regular cabinet meeting directed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, the Finance division decided to withdrew the VAT imposed on tuition fees.[13]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "#NO Vat on Education". The Daily Star.
  2. ^ "Bangladesh students protest education tax". aljazeera.com.
  3. ^ Anik, Syed Samiul Basher (2 August 2015). "NBR asks private varsities to pay VAT by August 15". Dhaka Tribune. Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Anger as tax on private university education agreed – University World News". www.universityworldnews.com. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  5. ^ "NBR asks private varsities to pay VAT by August 15 – Dhaka Tribune". dhakatribune.com.
  6. ^ "23 hurt as police foil anti-VAT EWU demo | Dhaka Tribune". www.dhakatribune.com. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Thousands of Bangladeshi students protest university tax". Yahoo News India. 10 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Private university students in Dhaka protest VAT on tuition fees". bdnews24.com.
  9. ^ "Students' demo stops Dhaka". The Daily Star.
  10. ^ "UNB – VAT to stay, but students won't have to pay: Muhith". unb.com.bd. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Pvt varsity students begin strike". businessnews24bd.com.
  12. ^ "Attack on student demo chanting 'Joy Bangla'". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  13. ^ Mamun, Shohel. "PM asks to withdraw education VAT". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 14 September 2015.