The Supreme Court of Pakistan has instructed reduction in private school fees in Pakistan by 20 percent.
Supreme court has ordered to make reduction in monthly fees of private schools.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar heard a suo motu case against high private school fees in Pakistan. The hearing was attended by private schools’ lawyer, deputy auditor general and the chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
According to the interim order issued by the Supreme court, all private schools charging above PKR 5,000 in monthly fee will have to cut the fee by 20 percent and return or adjust half of the fee charged over the summer holidays within two months.
The Supreme Court also restricted private schools from increasing the annual fee by more than five percent.
The Supreme Court also ordered that any hike of more than five percent in the private school fees in Pakistan would have to be approved by a regulatory board. In any case, any increase in the private school fees in Pakistan cannot be more than eight percent, it added.
The interim order further stated that owners cannot shut down their schools.
As the hearing got under way, the chief justice remarked that the Supreme Court was not bound by decisions made by high courts.
“The Court will make a decision on its own as to how much reduction [in fee] is appropriate,” Justice Nisar observed.
The bench also ordered FBR to probe income tax returns of the owners and directors of private schools.
Justice Nisar summoned the FBR chairman and ordered the bureau to check the tax records of private schools from the past seven years.
The court adjourned the hearing till December 26.
On September 17, the Supreme Court had decided to club cases pertaining to private schools pending in high courts and the apex court.
According to the Eighteenth Amendment of the Constitution, all decisions pertaining to education fall under the domain of provincial governments, which are also responsible for the curriculum and all other matters pertaining to schools.