“We welcome the budget announcements by Finance Minister today. We are happy that the government has addressed the need to upgrade over 80,000 secondary schools and add or upgrade 75,000 junior/middle, to the senior secondary level.  Such steps would effectively enable more children to attend schools and be part of the country’s growth story. The emphasis on the national skills mission, the launch of welfare scheme ‘Nayi Manzil’ and easier loans for higher education are all steps in the right direction and hold  promise for the immediate and long term. However, we are disappointed that the persistent and legitimate demand from the education sector to exempt schools from service tax on outsourced services has not been met. This will certainly increase the burden on parents across the spectrum.”