ISLAMABAD: All private cars having less than 1000 CC (cubic centimeters) engine will have a lifetime exemption from paying annual token tax in the Punjab if their owners deposit a one-time Rs10,000.
Meanwhile, it has been made mandatory for all private educational institutions including medical and dental colleges, LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) and elite English medium schools to enroll at least ten percent “means blind” students in every class by selecting them through open competition so that the poor but talented boys and girls also reach top of the line organizations for studies.
A senior official quoting the Punjab budget unveiled in the provincial assembly on Saturday told The News that the proprietors of vehicles with less than 1000 CC have been provided the facility to pay theremainder (of Rs10,000) in one go after deducting all the token tax they have so far disbursed to the government over the years.
He said that approximately fifty-six percent cars plying in Punjab were less than 1000 CC engine. Thus, the new service, he said, will extend to a majority of such owners.The official said that the facility has been introduced to save the car owners from the hassle of standing in long queues for hours every year to pay the token tax.
But he said in this way the Punjab government would collect a few more billions to fund its ambitious development projects.The official said the private educational institutions, which were charging more than Rs5000 monthly fee, would sign up at least ten percent less privileged students in every class.
He said it has been left to this category of organizations to choose the “means blind” students on their own but on merit through open competition.The official said that in many countries including the United States, top universities took “means blind” students on merit and thus finance the studies of those who could not afford but stand out in the open competition for admissions.
He said the purpose behind the move was to let the students of less financial means to have access to the quality education.“It is the corporate social responsibility of the premier private institutions, which are charging heavy fees, to make their contributions for the poor and middle class,” the official said.
He noted that private medical colleges charge some half a million rupees from every student every year as fee. Similarly, he said, the elite English medium schools are getting huge fees.The official said that this was creating a societal imbalance as even brilliant students belonging to families having meager means were unable to go these institutions.
He pointed out that private educational institutions were charging exorbitant fees without any check or balance from the government. They deeply resent any official move to have a check on them.The official said institutions, which charge Rs5,000 or less, have been deliberately kept out of the new scheme because their fees were obviously not very high.