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Delhi govt to audit accounts of 1,700 private schools

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has announced audit of the financial accounts of 1,700 private schools, in a move to stop the 'unjustified fee hike.'
Government sources said the move was necessitated after it received numerous parents complained about fee hike.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other stakeholders recently held a meeting, during which the Chief Minister gave his nod to the audit.
The auditing process will be completed in three months.
The action comes after the Delhi High Court stayed a recent government order allowing private unaided recognized schools to hike fee to implement the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).
The government will get financial statements of the school for the last three years audited by a chartered accountant.
The chartered accountant's report will then be approved by officials from the Directorate of Education (DoE).
Last year, the government had conducted an audit of around 150 private schools, which were built on Delhi Development Authority (DDA) land. These schools needed prior permission of the government to hike their fees.
During the audit of these schools, the governmentfound that many institutions had siphoned money collected through fees to their parent societies.
"Many schools were found to have spent huge amount of money on developing school buildings, even though various court orders have made it clear that the schools can only spend on furniture, fixtures and equipment. Some schools had also undertaken construction of other buildings under the society, using school fees," said Atishi Marlena, advisor to Delhi Education minister Manish Sisodia.
Marlena also said that some schools were found to have spent more money on school building per square metre than five star hotels.
"We saw this trend in the DDA schools and have now decided to get the financial accounts of last three years of all schools audited through charted accountants," she said.
Marlena further said that the Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973, allows for conducting audit of private schools if the DoE is not satisfied with the fee estimate given by the school.
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