Cong leader seeks tax cut on sanitary napkins

Cong leader seeks tax cut on sanitary napkins

Congress leader Sushmita Dev has urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to reduce taxes on sanitary napkins, which is categorised as a luxury product.

She pointed out to Jaitley that condoms and contraceptives were tax-free as they are recognised as a necessity to safeguard health and life.

“In the light of this observation, we need to view sanitary napkins through the same lens and ensure that women are not taxed unfairly by virtue of a natural bodily process,” the Lok Sabha member from Silchar, Assam, stated in a letter to Jaitley. At present, sanitary pads are taxed up to 14.5%. Under the proposed Goods and Services Tax, it is expected to be put in the 12% tax bracket.

Considering sanitary napkins to be a luxury product is deteriorating the standard of life of women in India and such a high taxation on a product of need is discrimination on the basis of gender, Sushmita argued.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day on Wednesday, the minister has also started an online petition to garner support for her demand.

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