By Iram Salim
Hats off to the Supreme Court for nailing the Elite Schools in Pakistan for charging high fee from students and making billions.
The owners of such schools have become billionaire and there was no body to question them before Chief Justice Saqib Nisar took them to task. Mian Amer Mahmood of Punjab schools and colleges, Chaudhry Attaur Rehman of Superior group and many others who apparently entered in the education sector to serve the people but at the end of of the day they served
Mahmood and Rehman established media houses like Dunya and Neo respectively by making billions from students. It is time that their kind must be taken to task. And all praise for CJP Nisar. On Thursday slashed fee of private schools by 20 per cent and directed them to refund 50 per cent of the fee they charged during the summer vacation.
The court’s bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Faisal Arab that was hearing a suo motu case about a fee hike capped the annual increase at five per cent and directed chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to scrutinise the tax records and accounts of private schools.
During the proceedings, audit reports of some schools were also presented before the bench. One of the reports said three directors were paid Rs8.3 million each as monthly salary.
The audit reports of Beaconhouse School System (BSS), City School, Lahore Grammar School, Roots School System, Bayview Academy and 15 other institutions submitted to the court revealed the directors and other top officials of the schools received Rs62m in salaries in 2017.
A total of Rs512m was spent on employees’ salaries in one year, while Rs5.2 billion was spent in five years, the reports said, adding that various facilities were also provided. Chief Justice Nisar said the schools “paid exorbitant salaries to the directors in order to show” that
their institutions were in loss.
The SC observed the audit would reveal how the “business of education” had flourished and turned into a profitable venture within a rather
short period. “I may order the Federal Investigation Agency and FBR to investigate the school fee,” said Chief Justice Nisar when he noticed
that an educational institution had submitted a faulty audit report.
The bench directed the FBR to conduct an investigation into the financial affairs of the leading private schools and adjourned
further hearing till December 26. – Pak Destiny