Mumbai: Women activists and political parties are irked after Union finance minister Arun Jaitley refused to reduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from sanitary napkins. The opposition political parties have threatened to agitate against this move.
The decision was taken during the 16th meeting of the GST council held in Delhi on Sunday, in which the tax was reduced on 66 items, barring sanitary napkins.
Right to Pee campaign activist Supriya Sonar said the decision revealed the BJP government’s hypocrisy on women’s issues.
“Sanitary pads are not luxury items but are an essential commodity. It will be accessible to more women if the government makes it tax-free. If bindi and bangles can be tax free, why not sanitary napkins? Women contribute equally to the economy and hence their needs should be considered,” she said.
NCP women’s wing president Chitra Wagh said the government was ‘insensitive’. “The real face of the government is being seen now. This is the same government that talks about Beti Bacho, Beti Padhao. But it’s not ready to relax the GST for sanitary pads. We condemn the government’s rigid stand and will launch an agitation soon,” she said.