Friday, 19 October, 2018

India scraps tax on sanitary pads in boost for girls' education

GST is just over one-year-old and the panel has already revised rates several times GST is just over one-year-old and the panel has already revised rates several times
Scott Davis | 23 July, 2018, 10:55

The announcement in this regard was made by Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal following a meeting of the GST Council, which chose to reduce tax rates on a wide range of daily use appliances and products.

The decisions taken in the meeting of GST council on July 21 will greatly benefit trade and industry, CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said. The Finance Minister also informed that several products inclusing the sanitary napkins are now have been kept outside the GST ambit. He said, lithium-ion batteries, vacuum cleaners, food grinders, mixers, storage water heaters, hair dryers, hand dryers, paint, varnishes, water cooler, milk cooler, ice cream coolers, perfumes, toilet sprays and toilet preparation have been brought to 18 from 28 per cent slab. To compensate for the taxes incurred on raw materials used to make sanitary napkins, pad manufacturers might increase their prices.

The announcement comes a year after the government introduced the tax, known as GST, on all goods - including the 12% duty on menstrual hygiene products.

A high GST rate on sanitary napkins imposed past year had triggered howls of protest from consumer activist groups.

The GST rate cut will come into effect from July 27. The minister said tax on bamboo had been slashed to 12 per cent.

Tax filers with an annual turnover of less than Rs. 5 crore a year need to file returns on a quarterly basis while paying tax on a monthly basis. "With simplification, there will be compliance buoyancy and the overall assessment will show that the revenue impact is marginal", he said, adding the revenue foregone is for the good of consumers.




Mr Goyal said, traders with turnover up to 5 crore rupees will deposit GST monthly but they have to file the returns quarterly.

"Radio Mirchi's RJ Charu posted this funky picture of a pad that looks too cool for school, while comic Sumukhi Suresh kept it simple with her tweet that just said: "#lahukalagaan maaf" (tax on blood waived). Also a chance will be given till August 31 for businesses to migrate to the GST regime and late fee would be waived, Goyal said.

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

Earlier, the council had revised tax rates on 29 items in January.

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.

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