New Delhi, March 21: Silchar Congress Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev has urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to make sanitary napkins tax free under the new Goods and Services Tax Bill. In a petition on change.org, Dev says taxing sanitary napkins is like taxing women for being women.
"India is about to cross an important milestone in implementing the GST bill and this has brought to the forefront a long pending demand of various activists and organisations to reduce or abolish the tax on sanitary napkins," the petition titled Tax Free Wings by Dev addressed to Jaitley reads. Condoms and contraception are tax-free in India, but sanitary napkins used by millions of women are not, Dev cites.
"Women have to use sanitary napkins every month. They are a necessity, not a luxury. Taxing sanitary napkins is like taxing women for being women. If condoms and contraception are tax-free to promote their use for health reasons, so should sanitary napkins," she adds.
According to Dev, the upcoming GST bill is the key opportunity to make sanitary napkins tax free. The Congress spokesperson requested people to sign her petition and ask Jaitley to make sanitary napkins tax free under the new GST regime.
"I am a Lok Sabha MP and I will take all your signatures to the finance minister. Help me reach at least two lakh signatures this week before the GST bill is introduced. This move will impact millions of girls and women in India. It will make sanitary napkins cheaper for the middle-class families and make them affordable to low-income families for the first time," she says.
Her petition has got a massive response and around 152,749 people have signed it. Read the entire petition here.