The Department of Money Laundering Investigation (DMLI) will investigate the source of wealth of guardians who pay exorbitant fees for medical study of their children.
Students and guardians are booking seats at the majority of medical colleges by agreeing to pay the fees determined unilaterally by the colleges even this year. “The Department of Revenue Investigation will check if the authorities concerned have been informed or not about the fees taken from the students,” he added. He shared how he resolved the fee dispute at the KIST Medical College when he was Chief district Officer (CDO) of Lalitpur. “We hear that the tax-evaders have been enrolling their children for MBBS. A normal family cannot pay Rs 4 million at a time. This area, therefore, has become a new issue to investigate for us,” he added.
The medical colleges have been determining fee structure arbitrarily as the fee of Rs 3.10 million proposed by the Fee Fixation Committee three years ago could not be implemented. The guardians also silently agree for that amount due to fear of losing the enrollment opportunities. Though the ministry has to determine fee every year, college operators determine it on the basis of mutual understanding. President of the association of medical colleges and Promoter of Nepalgunj Medical College Dr Suresh Kanoudiya stated that the college has set a fee of Rs 4.20 million for the current year though it had charged Rs 4 million last year. “We are bound to be affected as everything has become expensive, But we have not been careless and have done so on the basis of the inflation data of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).
Spokesperson at the Education Ministry Roj Nath Pandey claims that college promoters do not have the rights to arbitrarily determine the fee. Stating that the high level committee formed under Education Minister has been studying about the whole medical sector, he warned action against those working as per their discretion. “One needs the ministry’s approval to determine fee. But nobody has arrived yet for that,” he added.
The colleges cannot determine fees themselves unless the Fee Fixation Committee of the ministry determines the fee. But the medical colleges have been charging exorbitant fee as the ministry is not working responsibly. There are currently 18 medical colleges in the country including two autonomous institutions and they take around 2,000 students every session. The majority of private medical colleges have been charging Rs 3.50-4 million from the students at the time of admission.