SRINAGAR — The Government Fee Fixation Committee (GFFC) has approved the hike in transport fees by 14 per cent for private schools in both Jammu and Kashmir divisions. The committee, however, said that the hike would be applicable from March 2022.
According to the news agency KNO, the committee has said that the information provided by various stakeholders shows a huge yawning gap between the transport fee charged in urban, rural and village areas. “It has been brought to the notice of the FFRC that a school in a rural area is charging Rs 600 per month for distance of 0-4km, while another school is charging Rs 600 for 0-8km and yet another school is charging Rs 700 for 0-7km,” reads the orders of the committee.
The committee, however, said some schools in urban areas are charging transport or bus fee up to Rs 2,000 per month and in a few cases, above Rs 2,000. “There is a difference in the salary component of Drivers and Helpers of the schools located in urban and rural areas,” it reads.
The committee further said that since the majority of the items and expenses of transport are the same and similar in almost all the schools, thus, they constitute one class.
“The FFRC after considering all the relevant aspects and after giving thoughtful consideration to the representations made and material provided by the stakeholders and in tune with statutory prescriptions has resolved that it would be appropriate to allow a hike in transport or bus fee in all the schools in the manner decided by the committee,” it reads.
“The schools in the winter zone shall be entitled to a hike of 14 per cent in the Transport or Bus Fee, which the schools in the winter zone were charging and collecting in the month of October 2019,” reads the order.
It also states that the schools in the summer zone shall be entitled to a hike of 14 per cent in the transport or bus fee, which the schools in the summer zone were charging and collecting in the month of February 2020.
The fee fixation committee further said that the transport or bus fee hike shall be applicable from March 2022 in both the zones viz; Winter Zone and Summer Zone, when the schools resumed physical classwork after the lockdown.
It also said that the schools whose transport or bus fee by the afore-stated hike crosses Rs 2,000 shall be entitled to charge and collect only Rs 2,000 and the aforementioned hike shall restrict the upper limits of bus fee hike to Rs 2,000. “All the schools shall faithfully and honestly follow the decision of the FFRC and implement the same in letter and spirit.”
The committee said that any school management who in the peculiar circumstances of the school needs bus fee beyond Rs 2,000 shall have to submit its proposal to FFRC along with relevant documents with proper justification, to enable it to take a decision thereon in accordance with the law.