“Why GST on Sanitary napkins?”
At a time of globalization and modernization, periods are still considered a ‘Taboo’ in our country. It is a matter of shame and concern that only 12% out of 586.47 million women in our country uses sanitary pads. The government imposed a 12% GST on sanitary pads even after knowing that menstruation is a natural process, not a choice. The question is why?
Has it ever occurred to you that why the tax council has imposed such a huge tax on a necessary item?
Let’s go into the detail and find it. Before the imposition of GST, there was 13.7% indirect tax on sanitary napkins and now there is 12% GST, so the tax incidence is same or less. Even if the government would remove the tax then there would be not much difference in the price.
In an interview, Arun Jaitley(Finance minister) said that there are 12% and 18% GST on raw materials of pads. So after GST is imposed, the Indian manufacturing companies have around 3-4% input credit. There are also many SELF HELP GROUPS in India like SAATHI and GOONJ which are making sanitary pads. These self-help groups are below 20 lakhs so there are exempted from tax. Even after GST is imposed the Indian manufacturers will have to pay a negligible net tax.
IF THERE IS 0% GST ON SANITARY NAPKINS
Now, what would happen if there is 0% GST on sanitary napkins? The Indian companies will have a benefit of 3-4% as they don’t need to pay the tax anymore. Initially, it would seem to benefit but there is a loss when we look at the insight. Initially, the foreign companies had to pay customs duty with 12% IGST but now when there is no GST so the amount that they have to pay will get reduced by a huge margin. Due to this, their products will be cheaper and foreign sanitary pads especially Chinese ones will be all over the Indian market. If this would happen then it will be a huge disadvantage for our Indian manufacturers as they would not be able to stand against the foreign competition. Many would have to close their enterprise and eventually many would lose their jobs and hence there will be more unemployment in the country.
IN AID OF MAKE IN INDIA SCHEME
MAKE IN INDIA is an important initiative by the government. It aims to make the Indian manufacturers and producers stand against the foreign competition and attracts investments and strengthen India’s manufacturing sector. If the GST rates on sanitary pads will reduce to 0% then the government will not be able to protect our domestic manufacturers. As they would be in the loss to the manufacturing sector will weaken and hence they make in India initiative will vanish.
You might have thought that there is an injustice towards women as there is no tax on sindoor, bindi, and kajal but there is a 12% tax on sanitary napkins. There have been many protests occurred in aid of this. At last, I only want to conclude that there are many aspects in formulating in any law and before jumping to any conclusion we must know each and every aspect of it and then draw any conclusion regarding that.
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Report: Divya Mehra
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