Union budget 2022-23: From tax rebates to special allocation for EdTech, check pre-budget expectations for education sector

The 2022 Union budget will be presented on February 1, 2022 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The parliament budget session will start on January 31, 2022. From targeted budget allocation for the edtech companies and private institutions, the stakeholders in the education sector expect many bold moves from the government. Here’s what academics and experts have to say:

“As technology becomes an indispensable part of teaching and learning during the pandemic, we hope that the government will take urgent action to improve technical integration in early childhood education through access to the Internet and learning devices such as laptops and easy availability of e-learning resources. . We urge the Minister of Finance to lay down the government’s vision and goals for the education sector for the coming year and to provide financial support that this sector rightly deserves.” — Kavita Sahay Kerawalla, Vice-Chairman, VIBGYOR Group of Schools.

“The 2022 budget is expected to be more focused on the edtech sector as a whole, with significant investment to improve access to robust and enhanced digital infrastructure. The GST for educational services is expected to be reduced to 5 percent from the existing 18%, to increase accessibility and feasibility for students from lower and middle class families. With increased internet penetration, the upcoming budget is expected to announce several initiatives to accelerate digital innovation in the edtech sector.” — Gerald Jaideep, CEO, Medvarsity Online.

“Despite many promises, India’s education allocation never reached 6 percent of GDP. Contributions from a company or foundation or other grant-granting entity to a university or to a research center or a knowledge center (part of a university or institution of higher education) or a new university approved by the government or a recognized program under a university-industry partnership, should be eligible for deduction of taxable income up to 300 percent of that contribution. We would like the government to create a scholarship called ‘The Indian Corporate Higher Education Scholarship’ with a corpus of R.1,000 crore contributed by the top 1000 companies in the country. This should be led by an eminent independent council.” YSR Murthy, Founding Vice Chancellor, RV University, Bengaluru.

“As the EU budget approaches 2022-23, the young generation has high expectations of government, especially in four segments: education and skills development, better infrastructure, improved employment opportunities and the safety and security of the common man. The government should also support telecom companies so that they develop better infrastructure, internet connectivity, access to modern devices, ensure last mile delivery, quality guidance to the underprivileged people left behind by the digital divide. The government should focus on large allocation of resources for innovation, research and development to help talent create lucrative employment opportunities.” — Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL).

“As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the Union budget 2022-23 will be critical in building further economic resilience, even as we work towards more robust growth across sectors. The government should take immediate action to ensure the long-term sustainability of higher education institutions, especially in light of increased competition from edtech companies. It can start by creating a viable structure for raising low-cost capital, similar to MSME funding schemes, enabling legacy institutions to improve their learning methods and outcomes.” — Hersh Shah, CEO, Institute of Risk Management (IRM) – India Affiliate.

“We cannot expect the Indian government to bridge the gap between education and employability on its own. It needs increased support from the private sector, along with wider adoption of technology, to ensure that the goal of quality education for all is achieved. The union budget can facilitate this by lowering the GST rate for the provision of educational technology and support services from 18 percent to a minimum of 5 percent. In addition, it should enable private investors to set up schools and colleges with the ability to generate profits and stock returns.” — Akhil Shahani, General Manager, Thadomal Shahani Center for Management, Shahani Group.

“After a tumultuous two years, the education sector is asking the government for increased support through the Union’s 2022 budget. Moves such as easing the GST for online classes, tax cuts for working professionals seeking to enroll in upskilling programs, and direct bank transfers (DBT) to helping students to purchase mobile phones/tablets/laptops and internet connections to subscribe to educational services should be explored.” — Anish Srikrishna, CEO, Times Professional Learning.

“EdTech was a major revolution that we have all witnessed and experienced in these unprecedented times. This transformation requires massive rebates for increasing IT infrastructure capabilities. Currently there are no subsidies for universities and institutions. Access to affordable education should be implemented bearing in mind that loan sanctions are a tedious process with limited conversions and high interest rates. Therefore, there needs to be a streamlined mechanism for students to pursue qualifications that match their interests and abilities” — Ashok Mittal, chancellor, beautiful professional university.

“AMoves such as easing GST for online classes, tax rebates for working professionals who want to enroll in upskilling programs, and direct bank transfers (DBT) to help students purchase cell phones/tablets/laptops and internet connections to subscribe to educational services , needs to be explored. It is imperative for the education sector to propel India’s millions to better job opportunities and become more skilled to face a future that will be driven by technology-led change, and appropriate budget allocations will be crucial. important to achieve this.” — Anish Srikrishna, CEO, Times Professional Learning.

Sajal Jain
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