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Delhi education system set to change thanks to AAP Govt Bills

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New Delhi: In a “historic” move on Tuesday, the AAP government passed several bills focused majorly on educational reforms.

The three major bills passed were: the Delhi School Education ( Amendment) Bill 2015, the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee Bill) 2015, and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill which eradicates the no-detention policy from entry level classes.

“It is a historic moment,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his talks regarding the bills. “The three bills are proof that we are very serious about education. It is our top priority. Eradicating corruption is just a means, ultimately our goal is that every child in the city is educated and healthy,” he said.

It was necessary to bring these changes in the education system because “in the present, nobody could run a private school without engaging in cheating or corruption,” the chief minister added.

“Now the mechanism will be such that those who want to run their schools with honesty can do so, and those who don’t will be punished,” he said.

However the salaries of teachers would not be reduced, Kejriwal assured.

“Every private school will pay school teachers’ salaries as per what the government prescribes. For this, a committee will give suggestions. Schools will adhere to the formula set by this committee,” he said.

On the other hand, the school fees would supposedly decrease on the account of the transparency that the bills would bring in, claimed the CM.

“Verification of accounts is a first-of-its-kind Act being passed. If it is successful, it could set an example for other states,” he said.

The bill to verify fees was called “bogus” by Opposition leader Vijender Gupta. According to him, the bill would “encourage exploitation of teachers and school staff”. He said that the state government made it easy for private entities to carry out this exploitation legally.

“What the government is doing is legalizing exploitation of parents at the hands of schools. Where does the government think the money will come from if they impose fine on a school? It will be from the parents. What justice is this,” asked the BJP MLA.

Gupta also opposed the fact that Section 10(1) of the Delhi School Education Act, which called for parity between the salaries of government school and private school teachers, was abolished.

The removal of this clause, which had been added only after long protests by teachers, would give undue power to the school authorities, leading to the exploitation of teachers, said Gupta.

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Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase

the government would start a three-digit consumer helpline number

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Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase
Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase. Flickr

Seeking consumers’ participation in curbing tax evasion, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on the eve of completion of one year of GST rollout on Saturday appealed to them to insist on bill for every purchase saying it would help the government check evasion and reduce tax rate on each item by as much as 4-5 per cent. He further said the government would start a three-digit consumer helpline number to enable them to lodge complaint against erring traders or any other kind of tax evasion.

Touted as the biggest indirect tax reform since Independence, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out last year on July 1. “I want to appeal to the people that they should demand a bill whenever they go to purchase any goods. If you start asking for a bill…if there’s awareness about this, then we can reduce rates by 4-5 per cent for every item (under GST),” Goyal told reporters here.

He said if any shop says that they will sell at a lower price if the consumer does not demand a bill, then the consumer should immediately file a complaint, he said. “We will soon provide a three-digit simple number which will work as a call centre where customers can complain. We will ensure full confidentiality of the complainant,” Goyal said. The endeavour will be to start the helpline number within 15-20 days, he said. A nationwide campaign too could be launched for creating consumer awareness about demanding bills for purchases made. “If everyone starts giving bill then competition will be on quality and customer service and not on ability to cheat the system,” Goyal said. He further said the government wants to reduce the burden of taxation on consumers but revenue needs to increase and support of states is also needed to cut rates where it is essential.

bills
bills owing. Flickr

With formalisation of economy, the government will have more elbow room to reduce rates, he said.

Also read: Out of Total Tax Fine of $15 billion, Apple Pays $1.77 billion to Irish Government

Goyal also assured small businesses if they face any trouble, then they can write to him and it would be resolved. He said amendments would be introduced to the GST law in monsoon session to increase composition scheme threshold from the current Rs 1 crore. The GST Council had last year decided to increase the threshold to Rs 1.5 crore and also decided to amend the law to increase the statutory threshold to Rs 2 crore. (IANS)