Education cess money lies unspent in Chennai for past 8 years
An application was filed with the Chennai Municipal Corporation under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details of the collection of education cess. It also sought to know where the money collected through the cess was spent.
The reply provided by the Chennai Corporation stated that elementary education tax is collected at the rate of 2.5 per cent of the annual value of the buildings and is collected along with the property tax and that the purpose of the tax is to improve infrastructure and quality of education in the corporation schools. However, the reply also says that around Rs. 175 crore, collected as education cess during the past eight years is still lying unused with the corporation.
The activists claimed that as the government schools are extremely poor in infrastructure with no library and laboratory facilities and that in many cases over 100 students are pushed into one classroom, there is no relevance of collecting education cess if it is not utilized. Further, the Students Federation of India has alleged that in some instances, the fund collected through education cess is being diverted to other programmes like building roads and for water facilities.