The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has written to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley urging him to make sanitary napkins tax-free under GST.
While congratulating the Finance Minister on the successful passage of GST legislation in Parliament, DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal sought his intervention on the issue of sanitary napkins which have been taxed at 12 per cent, as per the GST schedule for goods which released yesterday.
In her letter to Jaitley, she said all females from the age of 10-12 years till 45-50 years undergo menstruation.
Since menstruation is a natural phenomenon, hygiene and proper health during this period is a fundamental right of each female citizen, Maliwal said.
"Understandably, taxation of sanitary napkins which is a basic necessity, denies its access to many. It makes sanitary napkins unaffordable for millions of poor Indian women who end up using dangerous materials such as dirty cloth, straw and sand instead," she said.
Earlier, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi and Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) Sushmita Dev and several other leaders advocated for making sanitary napkins tax free.
"Through this letter, I wish to communicate the recommendation of the commission to make sanitary napkins completely tax-free. This one decision of the Union government shall positively impact and improve the health and hygiene of millions of women," she said.