Revenue collection amounting to Rs 60 million is estimated to be at a loss as the agency in Nepal could not levy the service charge on Nepali students going to India for further studies. The 56th annual report of the Auditor General of Nepal has unveiled that though the Finance Act-2074 mandates imposition of one per cent service charge from the total tuition fee charged from the Nepali students going to study in India failing to do so resulted in loss worth Rs 62.7 million in the fiscal year 2017/18.
Furthermore, the Finance Act 2075 has revised the service charge percentage to be at 2 percent of the total tuition fee. According to the Tribhuvan University’s statistics, a total of 5,931 Nepali students had obtained equivalent certificate after completing their Bachelors degree from Indian universities while Curriculum Development Centre’s data shows that 8,493 students completing their grade 10 and 12 had obtained the same certificate in the last fiscal year.
The Scholarship Department under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology provides ‘No Objection Letter’ to the students going to study to foreign countries other than India.
The amount collected as a service charge from the tuition fees from the students going to India for studies have been unaccounted for in many circumstances as many have been exchanging the Nepali currency with the Indian without properly showing the reasons given the porous borders with India.
Nepal Rastra Bank’s Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Poudel opined that the loss was being incurred as we could not determine the person going to India for what purpose-work or study. He said that service charge could be levied on the currency exchanged if permission was obtained by the Nepali national going to study in India from the concerned government agency for the same.
Pressing for the need for coordination at the local agency and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to bring every students going to study in India under the ambit of tax, he said, ”If the transaction was being held through illegal channel including hundi, the Nepal Rastra Bank could take action against it.”
Similarly, Educational Consultancy Association of Nepal (ECAN) former President Prakash Pandey said that ECAN was of the view that service charge should not be extracted from the students going anywhere beyond Nepal as it could cause them further financial burden.
He commented that the rule was not in favor of the students, which levies tax on students leaving off shore for further studies.