The newly rolled out Goods and Services Tax (GST) has led to curiosity on campuses with some students expecting an increase in pocket money. Even as parents remain unsure about the impact of the new tax regime on the expenses towards their children’s education, students are asking questions about whether GST will eat into their allowances. College and school students who enjoy an occasional “eat-out” feel GST will increase their expenses. “Suddenly, someday you happen to want to go with your friends to some restaurant where you would have ideally had to pay no more than Rs 500. Now, you have to pay over Rs 700 which seems to be way out of the range of our average pocket money,” said Dhruv Mavani, a student of N M College of Commerce and Economics, Vile Parle.
Parents on the other hand are not convinced. “I don’t think that rise in prices post GST has been so drastic that children would have to demand an increase in their monthly pocket money and it will be better for them to allocate their funds responsibly,” said Flavina D’silva, whose son attends Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane. Non-AC establishments that don’t serve alcohol will now charge GST at 12 per cent — 6 per cent Central GST and 6 per cent State GST. Air-conditioned, partly AC and five-star restaurants will charge GST at 18 per cent — 9 per cent CGST and 9 per cent SGST- that will actually bring down the charges from an effective 20.5 per cent charged earlier.
Principals of colleges, however, feel that prices at canteens would remain unaffected. “I highly doubt that canteen prices will rise because of GST. Although prices have risen marginally, it is unlikely that students would need to demand more pocket money. Since the rule is still new, confusion amongst the students is understandable but once there’s clarity, the nerves will settle,” assured Dr Hemlata Bagla, principal of K C College. To address the confusion among students, some institutes have decided to hold workshops. “We’ve been having workshops since the beginning of January and recently, one such workshop was held in June,” said Bagla.
Students also felt the need for special sessions on GST. “Teachers should definitely discuss GST with students because it’s very common for students to base their opinions on political affiliations and not look at things rationally. Although students don’t necessarily need more pocket money, it makes sense for our allowances to be raised nominally to keep up with the taxes,” said Pranoy Hegde, a student at N M College.