New Delhi, July 22: Since the Goods And Services Tax (GST) was twisted out in 2017, people from all dorms of the society had raised their voice against its play on sanitary napkins, which is a commodity of such high importance for women.
The government eliminated a controversial tax on 'Sanitary Pads' on Saturday, a move flagged by campaigners who say it will help more girls to go to school during their periods and boost their job future.
Reportedly, it is informed that, While government gave its justifications and reasons at that time, today, in a meeting of GST Council it was ruled that the sanitary napkins will be exempted from the tax,
Activists say abolishing the tax on pads gears one of the biggest barriers to education for girls, who are usually forced to stay at home due to a scarcity of course to clean hygiene products, while also facing disgrace and a lack of toilets in schools.
Periods are among the leading factors for girls to drop out of school in a country where 4/5 women and girls are predicted by campaigners to have no contact with sanitary pads.
Interim Finance Minister - Piyush Goyal at a news conference in New Delhi, said:
"I am sure all mothers and sisters will be very happy to hear that sanitary pads are now 100 percent exempt from tax."
However, Sanitary pads were taxed at 12% under Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was launched in July 2017. The decision provoked protests, petitions and court cases that questioned why the government taxed pads as a luxury rather than an essential item, such as condoms, which are tax-free.
Yet, last year, lawmaker Sushmita Dev launched a petition to demand a reduction (or) total removal of taxes on pads, pointing out that about 70% of women in the country could not manage them.
The online petition gained more than 4,00,000 signatures.
Indian girls and women face many challenges when they have their periods, especially in rural areas where a lack of awareness and the cost of pads close many instead use unsanitary cloth (or) rags, increasing the risk of infections and disease.
Bollywood's first film on menstrual hygiene "Padman", starring Akshay Kumar set off the debate over the subject of menstrual hygiene in India after its release earlier this year.
Amar Tulsiyan, the founder of Niine Movement, called Saturday's decision "a big win for everyone" in India, where, he said, 82% women and girls have no access to sanitary pads.
"The tax exemption is a massive boost," he said.
People lauded this much-welcome decision by the government and expressed their acknowledgment and appreciation on social media.
~ More than a third of girls in South Asia miss school during their periods, as they lack access to toilets or pads, and many receive no education about menstruation before reaching puberty.
#GSTFreeSanitaryNapkins Thank you PM @narendramodi Sir— Kritika Modi (@kritikamodi1) July 22, 2018
FM @arunjaitley sir@PiyushGoyal sir
for removing GST on Sanitary Napkins & giving women of this country a great relief as this step makes the napkin affordable to a larger section. Great step towards Empowering women.