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Thursday, 26 July 2018

No more taxes on compresses in India

Por Olivia Rosario Rodríguez

In July 2017, the decision to increase the levy applied to these articles of intimate feminine hygiene was a wave of criticism from many sectors of society in India, the tax increase had transformed the products of intimate feminine hygiene in a luxury good. However, the Government of India eliminated the rate on sanitary towels and tampons that were levied on these products with 12 percent of the tax on goods and services.

The rise in taxes was interposed by the population as a serious barrier to the education of women in a country where health problems are the main source of female school absenteeism. In this regard, the Minister of the Interim Economy, Piyush Goyal, at a press conference held in New Delhi said he was sure that all mothers and sisters will be very happy to hear that the sanitary towels are now 100 percent tax-free.

One of the people who reacted as a result of that tax, was the lawyer and Deputy Sushmita Dev, who launched an online petition to demand the elimination of the tax considering that it transformed a commodity into a luxury product. With more than 400,000 signatures of support since last year, the request indicated that 70 percent of women in the country could not afford to buy pads because of their price.

And it is that Indian women and girls suffer many problems during their menstruation, especially in rural areas where the lack of information and the price of intimate hygiene products force many of them to use rags with unhealthy characteristics that increase the risk of infections and diseases. Worth noting According to surveys conducted, 10 percent of the female population of rural India believes that the period is a disease, which speaks of the level of ignorance in the Asian nation.

On the other hand, 20 percent of minors drop out of school as soon as they start menstruating, condemning them to economic dependence, forced marriages and the rest of the evils that beset women in developing countries.

Other sectors of the Indian population have become aware of the seriousness of a situation marked by taboos and lack of information, such as the film industry, because last year a film was released whose protagonist struggles to create affordable pads economically.

Although the decision has been applauded, other activists and businesswomen think that the problem is still there. Although the Government has eliminated the tax on the commercialization of sanitary towels and tampons, its production continues to be subject to a heavy levy of up to 28 percent.