GST on sanitary napkins has been a debatable issue since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. Mostly because the tax has been levied on something as basic as sanitary napkins and not on other “women’s only” products like sindoor or bangles. What also bothers people is that the government has offered no real justification for it.
When the GST regime was implemented, sanitary napkins were placed in the 12% tax slab.
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi recently tried to provide a justification for levying GST on sanitary napkins.
Speaking at an event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce, Gandhi said, "If we take it (GST on sanitary napkins) to zero, then the multinationals have the power to spread laterally, thereby, blocking off any kind of indigenous growth."
"So, if we put 12 per cent on MNCs, while at the same time allowing that any company below Rs 20 lakh will get zero taxation under GST, you then allow all NGOs and women's groups to come up and become entrepreneurs and sell sanitary towels," she added.
The Women and Child Development Minister had written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in March Last year, asking him to make all eco-friendly and biodegradable sanitary napkins tax-free under GST.
In July last year, Jaitley had issued a statement saying that with the implementation of GST, the tax on sanitary napkins has actually come down, 12% GST is less than the 13.68% tax that was levied on sanitary napkins earlier.
Since its implementation last year, the government has reduced the GST on several products. For sanitary napkins, however, things haven’t changed.
With this new "justification" that the Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has tried to offer, all we can say is, “Whatever sails their boat!” Because doesn't look like the GST on sanitary napkins will be removed anytime soon!
information source: newindianexpress