On Saturday, women across the country rejoiced as finally, sanitary pads were removed from the GST list. Back in July, 2017, sanitary pads were taxed at 12% under the goods and service tax, which was a tax primarily for things considered a luxury. The decision to do this triggered a lot of protests and had several petitions and court cases against it. Sanitary pads are a necessity and not a luxury item and scrapping the tax on pads, also plays a much bigger role in the long run. One that will significantly help break down some of the barriers that have previously existed.
For years, even before the GST was implemented, sanitary pads have been taxed. It has been a long fight to get rid of it, which is why this victory is all the more significant. Many girls in rural areas drop out of school due to their period because of the lack of availability of sanitary pads. Not to mention the obvious hygiene issues faced by them when considering the lack of toilets and other facilities. The scrapping of this tax opens up many avenues to these women.
About the removal of GST from sanitary pads, Manushi Chhillar said;
When a girl understands that her body is a gift and doesn’t limit her in any way is when she will truly feel empowered. The revised GST on sanitary pads will surely make more girls feel that their needs are respected and menstruation doesn’t limit them in any way.
We also reached out to Mallika Sherawat to know what her thoughts about this significant move were. Here is what she had to say;
It’s a step in the right direction. Sanitary pads are a necessity, not a luxury and this move will truly make menstrual hygiene accessible & affordable to many.
There were also a few other products that had their GST either removed or reduced. While there is a lot of praise for this move, a lot of people are also saying it’s just a move to help with the upcoming elections. That being said, given the current situation, every win should be counted as one. We think it’s a great move and is a great step forward, that will surely have a huge impact. Now, we need to help with getting rid of the stigma that is attached to periods.
Do you think there are other products that should be exempted from the GST list? Let us know in the comments below.
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