July 19, 2019
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Protests arise over India’s move to impose 12% GST on sanitary napkins

Severe protests have emerged over the Indian authority’s move to impose twelve per cent Goods and Services Tax on the sanitary napkins sold in our markets, with Congress Party’s Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev launching an online petition demanding the reduction of the tax on these materials from twelve per cent to five per cent and the student union of the Communist Party of Indian (Marxist), the Students Federation of India, sending the sanitary napkins with ‘Bleed Without Fear and Bleed Without Tax’ written on them to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely. It is learned that several progressive organisations have organised similar programs across the country, expressing their disapproval over the authority’s insensible move. As per the report, the protests over the issue are slowly becoming a strong national movement, with more and more political parties situated in the centre position, centre-left position and left position of the political spectrum coming forward to align themselves with the movement day by day. Recently, an Assamese woman died of a serious infection as she used some unhygienic material during her periods. Some allege that the new tax would increase the price of the napkins and make it more difficult for the poor to access.  In the article written by Ms Sushmita, it is said that nearly seventy per cent of the Indian families are not able to afford the sanitary napkins. The issue has a straight connection with the raising rate of school drop outs among the girl students. Observers claim that as the government is not capable of proving subsidised sanitary napkins to all families who are not able to afford it, the best way to resolve this crisis is to bring down the tax rate and encourage the private companies, which have the market penetration in the rural and remote regions, to sell their products at an affordable rate.


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