Activists demand withdrawal of GST on sanitary napkins

Scores of activists on Tuesday posted sanitary napkins to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's office demanding immediate withdrawal of GST on the women's hygiene
product, following a video on the issue that went viral on social media.

Scores of SFI and All India Democratic Womens' Association (AIDWA) activists sent the napkins with the text "Bleedwithoutfear" written on them. In the video that was widely circulated on social media, Delhi University student and SFI activist Anuradha Kumari had yesterday urged women across the country to post sanitary pads to the Union minister's office to fight against "unjust" taxation on sanitary pads.

"If condoms and contraceptives are made tax-free, why not sanitary pads?" she had asked in the minute-long video. Sanitary napkins will attract Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate of 12 per cent, a shade lower than 13.7 per cent in the previous indirect tax regime.

"Sanitary pads are considered as luxury items and taxed accordingly, when the reality is that these are necessities of a woman for a healthy life. Inflated prices will discourage poor women and girls from using pads," said Vikas Bhadauria, president of Students Federation of India (Delhi).