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MESTA requests FM to provide interest free loans for parents, schools

May 18, 2020

The Maharashtra English School Trustees Association (MESTA) has submitted a letter to Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance, Government of India, on behalf of crores of teaching and non-teaching staff across the country to provide necessary financial assistance to private schools and parents. Many schools have started defaulting on salaries leaving the teaching and non-teaching staff apprehensive about their future.

Sanjay Tayade Patil, State President, MESTA has been calling for a solution for the two crore teaching and non-teaching staff across five lakh private schools who have been contributing towards providing uninterrupted education through various e-learning solutions. He iterates that they should get their dues and there shouldn’t be any adverse effect on their livelihood and survival. Patil added that the Central Government and the Ministry of Finance, have issued an enormous healing package of Rs 20 lakh crores for the Indian industry last week to lead India to the road to economic recovery. He added, in recent times, the ministry had announced a relief package of Rs. 1.7 lakh crores, towards food security and cash transfers to the poorest of poor and insurance cover for frontline medical personnel which was considered timely and prudent.

Patil requested to Sitharaman to issue a similar package for the education industry as it is a part of the priority lending sector – “We request you to provide a similar and an immediate financial aid to the education sector to safeguard the jobs of crores of teaching and non-teaching staff, keep unaided education institutions functioning and prevent them from turning bankrupt. While certain states have allowed the collection of fees, many states are still to understand the value of salvaging the livelihood of our ‘gurus’ and non-teaching staff.”

He added that while states may have consented in allowing schools to pay fees, the prevailing issue of parents not being able to source liquidity for the education of their children remains. “In order to overcome this issue, we propose a three-point solution to the government which in sync with the government policies and not burden on the exchequer. The government should provide interest free loans for parents to fund their child’s education through direct benefit transfer. Secondly, similar loans should be provided to the schools to pay recurring costs such as teacher salaries, overheads and capital expenditures and thirdly, Direct Subsidy should be allowed on purchase of requisite computer hardware, such as laptops and computer desktops, as well as necessary software for continuation of education through online modes,” suggested Patil adding that he this package isn’t a wavier but an advance to the education sector, which will reap dividend in the years to come and can be paid within less than a year.

Also read: MESTA requests RBI to give interest-free loans to parents, schools

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