Huge relief for girls as officials scrap tax on sanitary pads

23 July, 2018, 10:51 | Author: Lora Ball
  • GST is just over one-year-old and the panel has already revised rates several times

However, that raincloud is something we can only deal with once the move comes into effect from 27 July.

"Every state wanted that the rates on these items be lowered so that the middle income households are benefitted ..."

Among several items on which GST was reduced include footwear, small televisions, water heater, electric ironing machines, refrigerators, lithium-ion batteries, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food appliances and ethanol. Tax rate on ethanol has been slashed to 5 per cent from 18 per cent at present.

Sanitary napkins are taxed 12 percent tax under the one-year old GST regime, which attracted serious criticism from various quarters.

Meanwhile, hoteliers cheered as their long-standing demand to apply Goods and Services Tax (GST) on transaction value, and not declared tariff, was accepted by the GST Council on Saturday. "Money in the hands of all sections of society- the poor, households, women, farmers and senior citizens", Goyal tweeted late night.

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Amar Tulsiyan, founder of Niine Movement, called Saturday's decision "a big win for everyone" in India, where, he said, 82 percent women and girls have no access to sanitary pads.

Also, enterprises with annual turnover of upto Rs 5 crore would have to file quarterly returns instead of the current monthly filing, although they would continue to pay tax on a monthly basis. Piyush Goyal said the GST on mixer grinder, perfumes, cosmetics, and shavers too would come down from 28 to 18 per cent. As per the calculations, the input tax credit on sanitary napkins is about 3-4 per cent. Goyal said that the government would ensure a lower price for the end product. The ones who use costly branded napkins (and who'll benefit the most from this tax exemption) are anyway less likely to stop using these only because their period-expenditure increased by 8-10 rupees.

Earlier, there was a lack of clarity on the issue causing a lot of trouble for consumers booking hotels with "declared tariffs" of Rs 7,500 and above which incurred 28 per cent GST. Between Rs 2,500 to below Rs 7,500 GST is levied at 18 per cent and that of Rs 1,000 and below Rs 2,500 it is 12 per cent. "The rate rationalisation will substantially reduce the tax burden for a large number of commodities", Bipin Sapra, tax partner at EY India, said.

"It would be ideal if only demerit goods are retained in the 28 per cent slab so that a gradual movement towards having fewer GST slabs can be initiated", Mani said.

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