July 27, 2017
Pratima Mandal makes a Zero Hour Mention on the issue of GST on sanitary napkins
Thank you, Madam for giving me the opportunity to speak during Zero Hour.
Madam, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that menstruating adolescent girls do not find it comfortable and shy away from school during their periods; especially the girls of rural and sub-urban areas.They mainly use home-made napkins which is even more uncomfortable and more inconvenient to live a normal social life.
Most of the MPs of the Trinamool Congress are providing napkin vending machines and incinerators to all girls’ schools from our MPLAD funds to ensure menstrual hygiene as well as to increase the attendance percentage of girl students. This work is a part of the Nirmal Bangla Abhijan.
But, Madam, imposition of 12% GST on sanitary napkins will become a major roadblock in our efforts. Madam, this is a taxation on a necessity; it is a tax on the right to basic health care. Madam, women from economically weaker sections have been severely impacted by this decision and women from Maharashtra have been on hunger strike against this regressive decision of the Government. And their voices remain unheard.
So, Madam, this is my request to the Hon Finance Minister, through you, that the Minister should think about this issue and withdraw the tax on sanitary napkins to make way for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.