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Who will benefit from the tax cut on sanitary napkins?

Who will benefit from the tax cut on sanitary napkins?”

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

"I am sure all mothers and sisters will be very happy to hear that sanitary pads are now 100 per cent exempt from tax", Finance Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters at a news conference in New Delhi, as reported by NDTV.

The council also approved a simplified return filing mechanism wherein all taxpayers, excluding small taxpayers, will now file one monthly return with two main tables - one for reporting outward supplies and one for availing input tax credit based on invoices uploaded by the supplier.

Among items on which GST was reduced include footwear, small televisions, water heater, electric ironing machines, refrigerators, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food appliances and ethanol.

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The next GST Council meeting will be held on 4 August.

The deputy CM said after Narendra Modi government came in power in 2014, not only states were compensated for CST, there was constitutional provision made to compensate states for any type of revenue loss from GST for next 5 years and also to enhance it by 14 per cent every year. Experts said going forward as the revenues stabilise, the Council may look at further rationalisation of the 28% slab, to restrict the highest tax slab to super luxury and sin goods. This could benefit 93 per cent of tax payers.

While stressing that simplification in the process is the government's priority, Goyal said that soon RFID tags will be linked with Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for transporters.

Campaigners argued the tax would make them even more unaffordable in a country where an estimated four out of five women and girls already have no access to items like sanitary pads.

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Jaitley argued that making the tax rate nil would mean local manufacturers would no longer be able to get input tax credits.

Australia also continues to apply a tax while Ireland and Kenya are among the nations to have abolished taxes on sanitary products. If separate returns are to be filed then it will complicate matters for businessmen in both B2B and B2C businesses, he said. They demanded the withdrawal of the 12 per cent GST on the pads.

"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.

Besides revenue collection, the GST council will now focus on job creation as well, the Finance Minister said.

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



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