Representative pic
Representative pic

BHOPAL: Private schools can be penalised up to Rs 6 lakh if they charge fee beyond the prescribed limit or raise it without approval of the district committee constituted under Regulation of Fees and Related Issues Act.

Rules for Fees Regulation Act have now been finalised after three years and notified thereby making the Act enforceable. This Act has given powers of civil court to district committees and state level committee that will attend to complaints related to fee hike and related issues.

The Fee Regulation Act empowers the district committee to penalise the school up to Rs 2 lakh besides instructing school management to refund the excess fee charged by the school. If there is another complaint from the same school in which district committee orders refund of fee, then the penalty imposed on school will increase to Rs 4 lakh and up to Rs 6 lakh for subsequent orders of refund.

State government has made rules under which there will be a four-member committee at the district level headed by the district collector. District Treasury Officer, an officer equivalent of rank of assistant director nominated by the collector and district education officer, are also members of the committee where the district education officer also plays the role of secretary.

According to new regulation, schools do not require any sort of permission from any authorities if they increase the fee up to 10% of previous academic session. If the increment in fee by a private school in the proposed fee structure is more than 10% but less than 15% of the previous session, then approval of the district committee is must. In case the fee hike is more than 15%, then the district committee will forward the proposal to the state level committee.

Representatives of Palak Mahasangh said the step has come after order of High Court after three years of formation of Fee Regulation Act. The Act was made in 2017 but could not be enforced as rules were not framed. “We had approached High Court again after which the rules were formed by the government,” said Prabodh Pandya, convener of the Palak Mahasangh.

However, representative of Palak Mahasangh seemed disappointed as there was no representative from parents in the district committee or the state level committee. ‘Our efforts proved fruitful with making of the new law. Our representation in the committees could be done through amendment. We will continue our fight,’ said Pandya.

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Free Press Journal