Sanitary Napkins exempted from GST, rates cut for 50 other items

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Modi govt slashes GST rate on several products: Here're details

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar announced this on Saturday after a meeting of the GST Council.

The tax rate on ethanol blended with petrol, footwear costing up to 1,000 rupees and fertiliser grade phosphoric acid has been cut to from 12 to 5 percent, Goyal said.

"The attention to reducing rates and simplification of filing of returns as well as widening of input tax credit shall certainly increase the compliance rate and add to revenue buoyancy", CII said.

The GST Council was chaired by Piyush Goyal, the minister of railways, who is also handling the charge of finance ministry at the present due to the absence of finance minister Arun Jaitley, who recently went through a kidney transplant surgery.

By making sanitary napkins tax-free, the government has removed one of the biggest barriers to education for girls.

While hotels with tariff below Rs 1,000 are exempted from GST, those with tariff between Rs 1,000-2,500 are taxed at 12 per cent, those between Rs 2,500-7,500 at 18 per cent, and above Rs 7,500 at 28 per cent.

The GST Council will next hold a meeting on August 4, exclusively catering to the needs of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector.

SheSays India, a Mumbai-based NGO that works to promote gender equality and women's rights, has been hammering at the government's doors on this issue since as far back as 2016.

"I think all women will be happy to know that sanitary pads will now have 100 per cent exemption".

Earlier this year, Akshay narrated the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who introduced the low-priced sanitary napkins in India, in "Pad Man".

The online petition gained more than 400,000 signatures. "By imposing 12% GST on sanitary napkins, the government has tried to make a mockery of women", said Pooja Singh, Secretary of the NGO. For a sanitary pad manufacturer, for example, that would mean paying tax while buying the raw materials, and then paying tax again when selling the product.

This is very annoying.

Depending on brand, a pack of 10 ultra napkins may cost Rs 70-90. But we should have thought of this since the GST has been constructed in the "here is a chain letter and if you break the chain you will all fall into manure for seven years" method. Yet a few have raised questions about what the new rate will actually mean, and why the government had spent the previous year arguing that a lower tax rate would be a bad thing.

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