Education sector should be given tax exemptions: FICCI

August 24th, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The Education sector must be provided with appropriate tax exemptions that would help it attract more investment, said an industry lobby report released Sunday. In its recommendations for reforms in higher education, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has said India’s education sector requires huge investment. According to the chamber, the 11th plan allocation for higher and technical education, which is Rs.849.43 billion ($19.75 billion), is not sufficient to meet the needs of the country.

“(The) government has allocated Rs.306.82 billion for establishing 16 central universities, 370 colleges, eight Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), seven Indian Institutes of Management, 10 National institutes of Technology, 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology, five Indian Institutes Of Science Education and Research, and 50 centres for training and research in frontier areas,” the report said.

“However, according to estimates by the Planning Commission, this fund is not enough and the required resource gap will remain Rs.2.22 trillion,” FICCI said.

“As per the Planning Commission, the country needs an additional 200 universities. It is thus clear that, public resources would not be sufficient to meet the ever-growing demand for quality in higher education, and increasing private sector investment and participation will be required to meet such demands,” it added.

In order to attract private investment and public-private partnership opportunities, the government has already asked the FICCI to identify private partners for developing 20 IITs during the 11th plan period.

According to the FICCI, the government’s decision to accord deemed university status to foreign universities in India and de-link the quality assurance mechanism from the regulatory authority was in sync with the chamber’s recommendations to the government on giving a face-lift to the higher education system.

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