Expat levy to hit private Indian schools in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH Dec 31: The Saudi government's proposal to introduce an 'expat levy' from 2017 will badly hit the private international schools, run by Indians in the country.
In its annual budget, the Saudi finance minister announced that SR 1,200 (per annum) should be paid by each of the dependents of an expatriate.
The fee will be collected by the passport department from July 2017 onwards. In case of professionals and those working in companies, the fee will be met by their firms.
There are dozens of private schools across the Kingdom. In some provinces where there aren't any embassy-run schools, educational institutes owned by private partys are in plenty.
Such schools mainly cater to the middle income group, especially those who are employed in the private sector. Most of them are functioning without well-qualified teachers.
Some schools also employ homemakers as teachers in KG and primary sections. Now with the new tax, the fate of such schools is hanging in balance.
Only after the annual examination, which is due in March, they will get a clear picture about the exodus of Malayali families to Kerala. The fee will be collected along with the fees for residence permit renewal.
In 2018, the fee will be hiked to SR 200 (per month) for each member of expat family. The following year it will be increased to SR 300 per dependent per month.