What will Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley do with a gift parcel of sanitary napkins? A student political party in Tamil Nadu, the Revolutionary Youth Front, is hoping it will make them rethink the 12% Goods and Service Tax (GST) imposed on sanitary napkins. The parcels of pads have been sent to them as a symbol of protest. When the group protested in Coimbatore against the taxation, they were taken into police custody (video above).
The new tax applied on sanitary napkins is only a slight relief from the 13.68% under the pre-GST tax structure. According to a 2011 study, only 12% of India’s adult female population uses sanitary napkins. One of the factors is the high cost of pads.
Since the announcement of GST rates on sanitary pads, the social media campaign #LahuKaLagaan (tax on menstruation) has been calling to make sanitary pads tax-free. Activists have also filed PILs in Delhi and Bombay High Courts demanding a rethink on sanitary pad-tax.