New Delhi, Nov 15: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday questioned the central government’s decision to impose 12 per cent tax on sanitary pkins under the GST regime, saying it has exempted “bindi, kajal, sindoor” which seem more essential than sanitary pkins.
The court said the government needs to look towards reducing GST on sanitary pkins as it has done recently for many products.
During the hearing, the court asked the Centre whether it had discussed with the Ministry of Women and Child Development before imposing 12 per cent tax on sanitary pkins.
The court also asked whether the price of sanitary pkins has been increased after GST.
Responding to the court’s query, counsel for the Goods and Services Tax Council told the court that if GST on sanitary pkins is reduced, it would apply even for the raw material involved, which will increase the input tax credit due to addition of fincial cost in form of interest burden, hence put local manufacturers at a disadvantage in comparison with importers.
In an affidavit, the GST Council said that in pre-GST era, sanitary pkins attracted concessiol excise duty of 6 per cent and 5 per cent VAT and “the pre-GST estimated total tax incidence on sanitary pkins was 13.68 per cent. Keeping such pre-GST tax incidence in view, the GST Council has recommended 12 per cent GST on sanitary pkins”. The Council also said that the basis of arriving at tax rates takes into account not only the use of the goods and services but also their pre-GST tax incidence and mode of production. Seeking dismissal of the plea, the GST Council said that to treat sanitary pkins as a separate set would be arbitrary and discrimitory. “The levy on sanitary pads, like others levies, enhance reserves, which in turn facilitate provision of various educatiol and medical facilities which facilitate effective exercise of reproductive rights by ebling the state to marshal its resources,” it added. (IANS)