Why Is The Luxury Tax Of 12% Being Levied On Sanitary Napkins?
12 July 2017
Sex is a choice. Periods are not.
The Goods & Service Tax (GST) which is welcomed in our country on the first day of July 2017, has its impact on various industries in India. The tax reform with the principle of “one nation, one tax, one market” has turned many people high and at the same time has turned many people low.
The GST on sanitary pads and disability aids has become a point of contention with political parties, activists and citizens accusing the government of neglecting the needs of women and the disabled. (Reports Justice News.)
Menstruation is not a woman’s burden. And this fact has to be accepted by the bill setters. Our country’s Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley can see raised brows of women in India for levying 12% GST on sanitary products.
The case of sanitary napkins has become particularly contentious. All women demand that the women’s sanitary products should be made tax free. The government made Sindoor and bangles a tax-free commodity and treated sanitary napkins as a taxable item that too in the second slab of 12%.
I don’t understand what our government is trying to convey. On one hand making kumkum, sindoor, bindi and bangles as tax-free and imposing 12% GST on a basic commodity like Sanitary Napkins that women are biologically necessitated to use worldwide!
AN official in the federal indirect tax body, the GST Council, said on condition of anonymity that the issue was discussed in detail before finalising a tax of 12% on the product.
Here, I would mention that are the GST Council members unaware of the fact that women bleed every month? Excuse me! Apologies. But as a civilised citizen of the nation, I disagree on this step of 12% tax rate on Sanitary products.
While Sanitary Napkins are under 12% slab, condoms are in the 0% slab. Doesn’t it show a bias in favour of population control and against women’s hygiene? This is not an either-or issue. Condoms are primarily about birth control, yes, but they have implications for women’s hygiene as well.
There has been a list of Women’s Organisation standing in opposition to imposing GST on sanitary pads.
Shalini Thackery, the first daughter-in-law from a politically powerful family, expresses her agitation against GST. She quoted that women’s menstruation are those four days that give life to humanity. She is rigorously against imposing the tax in such a basic commodity.
“The overall conditioning needs to change and India should stop behaving like Ostriches,” said Ratna Pathak Shah, the famous Indian actress and director.
One of the Twitter users commented, “The only explanation for sanitary napkins being taxed at 12% under GST is that the GST Council has ‘only’ men on it and men don’t get periods.”
Why is the luxury tax of 12% being levied on sanitary napkins? Only rick women bleed? It’s high time we should know it’s an essential and necessary commodity, not a luxury.
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