As per a 1973 understanding between India and the US, 16 teachers of the school have “tax exempted status”. If the salary of a wife is added to that of a husband —both employed in the school — it amounts to misuse of privileges and circumventing country’s tax laws.
This could also be seen as India now finding charges of “visa fraud”— the same charge for which diplomat Devyani Khobragde was indicted before being sent out of the US.
“We are aware of the reports. These are serious issues relating to visa and tax matters. We will examine them very carefully,” spokesperson of the external affairs ministry Syed Akbaruddin said.
To a query on irregularities in the American school, the US embassy spokesperson Peter Vrooman told HT, “These diplomatic communications continue,” while diverting the reporter to the state department media note on January 14 issued after the meeting between the US deputy secretary William Burns and Indian envoy to US S Jaishankar.
“….Deputy secretary Burns and ambassador Jaishankar also discussed the variety of issues raised by the external affairs ministry via a diplomatic note, including alleged issues with the American embassy school. Burns conveyed that we take their concerns very seriously and will continue to address them via appropriate diplomatic channels”.
The American school on American government-owned land has about 1500 students on its rolls, nearly 500 of whom are from the US.