Your 1% education cess will now go into MUSK
The next time you pay 3% education cess, 1% of that will go into the Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh (MUSK). Wondering what is that? Well, it is a non-lapsable pool in the public account for secondary and higher education into which all proceeds of ‘Secondary & Higher Education Cess’ will be credited (the 3% education cess comprises 2% cess meant for basic/elementary education; and 1% secondary and higher education cess). The union cabinet recently accorded its approval for the creation of MUSK.
The funds arising from MUSK would be utilised for schemes in the education sector for the benefit of students of secondary and higher education all over the country. HRD ministry would be responsible for the administration and maintenance of the above pool. Even though accruals from the cess would be utilised in the ongoing schemes, HRD ministry can allocate funds for any future programme/scheme of secondary and higher education, based on the requirement, as per prescribed procedure. However, in any financial year, the expenditure on ongoing schemes of the department of school education and literacy and department of higher education would initially be incurred from the gross budgetary support (GBS); and only after the GBS is exhausted, the expenditure would be financed from the kosh. The MUSK would be maintained as a reserve fund in the non-interest bearing section of the public accounts of India.
- Accruals into the proposed non-lapsable fund would be made available for expansion of secondary education and higher education.
- For Secondary Education: Presently, HRD ministry envisages that the accruals from the cess would be utilised in the secondary education for ongoing Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme and other approved programmes including national means-cum-merit scholarship scheme and national scheme for incentives to girls for secondary education.
- For Higher Education: The accruals would be utilised for ongoing schemes of interest subsidy and contribution for guarantee funds, scholarship for college and university students; Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyaan; scholarship (from block grant to the institutions) and national mission on teachers and training.
The purpose of levying cess for secondary and higher education is to provide adequate resources for secondary and higher education.
The fund would be operationalised as per the present arrangements under Prarambhik Shiksha Kosh (PSK) wherein the proceeds of cess are used for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes of the department of school education and literacy.