DCW issues notice to sanitary napkin manufacturers over not giving tax rebate

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal | File Photo: IANS

New Delhi: Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal has issued notice to some sanitary napkin manufacturers over allegations that they were not passing on to consumers the tax rebate on sanitary pads.

Last year on July 21, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council slashed the GST rate on sanitary napkins from 12 per cent to zero.

Maliwal said that several women, during a march to promote woman safety, complained to her that sanitary napkin manufacturers did not reduced the prices.

"Companies cannot eat into the rebate for women. Issued Notices to all MNCs selling sanitary pads on non reduction of prices of sanitary pads despite GST being reduced from 12 per cent to 0 per cent!(sic)," she said in a tweet.

Maliwal also said that due to unaffordable sanitary napkins in the country, more than 80 per cent women and girls have been forced to compromise on personal hygiene and resort to unclean means during their menstrual cycle.

"Further, over 23 per cent girls are forced to drop out of school due to menstruation. It is absolutely essential that the tax benefits reach the consumer and are not usurped by manufacturers," she said in the notice to Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly-Clarke Lever and Unicharm.

Maliwal also sought to know the MRP of various sanitary napkin brands manufactured by the companies – both before and after implementation of 12 per cent GST, as well as before and after it was reduced to zero.

The notices were issued on the 9th day of the 13-day-long Mahila Suraksha Padyatra (women safety march) led by Maliwal.

The Commission has also asked the manufacturers to submit detailed reasons for not reducing the MRP or if the reduction has been implemented, steps taken by them to educate the masses about the lowered price.

During the march, DCW members are meeting people, hearing their complaints and initiating actions on the spot. The 'padyatra' will culminate on March 8 at Connaught Place after an event to mark the International Women's Day.

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