The legislation process for the Goods and Services Tax has progressed considerably, and a surprise request has been made from the Indian School of Business (ISB) with regard to the same. The school has requested that an amendment be made to a clause to exempt the school under the tax system.
Adi Godrej, the Chairman of the governing board of ISB sent a letter to Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Human Resource Development seeking exemption from this tax. Godrej, in his letter (dated Sept 9), requested that the provisions of the term ‘educational services’ be expanded to include ISB. He also stated that this would help to support ISB scale greater heights as a world-class teaching institute. The administration of ISB made a request along the same lines to the Department of Revenue in July.
The GST Bill is designed in such a way that it exempts those institutions that offer educational services, the Indian School of Business does not match the provisions of this tag as it is not recognised by any statutory body. This will result in financial complications for ISB.
Earlier, Sanjay Kallapur, Director of the Fellow Programme in Management sent a letter to Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on the same. In his letter (dated July), he suggested that a new clause be added to the definition of ‘educational services’ so that institutions such as ISB, that have a favourable global reputation and ranking, also be given tax exemption.
Despite not being recognised by higher education regulators such as the UGC and AICTE, the Indian School of business is well-respected in terms of its academic record and has a positive global reputation. The institution is awaiting a response from the central government on the matter.
According to an ISB spokesperson, the institute is run by a privately-funded, not-for-profit management whose primary objective is to ensure education of a world-class standard is provided to its students. An additional levy in terms of tax would impose an additional cost borne by its students and increase costs of the services provided by the institute.
The Indian School of Business has on its board, Rahul Bajaj, Sunil Bharati Mittal, Narayana Murthy, KP Singh, Anil Ambani and Michael Dell among others. It is Chaired by Adi Godrej.