Indian MP Sushmita Dev launches petition for sanitary pads to be tax free

It has currently received almost 7,000 signatures

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An Indian politician has launched a petition to make sanitary pads tax free.

Sushmita Dev, a Congress MP, currently has almost 7,000 signatures and is calling on the government to remove taxes on the product.

The MP for Silchar in Assam said she intends on handing the petition to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Taxes on sanitary products can vary from state to state but they are usually between 12 and 14 per cent.

“Women are being taxed 12 months a year, for about 39 years on a process they have no control over. How is that fair?” Ms Dev said, The News Minute reported.

Approximately 70 per cent of Indian woman cannot afford sanitary pads, according to a Tax Free Wings report.

Ms Dev also added that although the petition will make the pads affordable it will not solve the issue of awareness about menstrual hygiene products.

“I cannot petition the Finance Ministry about awareness though. What I can do in my own constituency is raise capital funding for vending machines to be installed in schools and public toilets,” she said.

The petition also mentions the environmental impact of disposable hygiene products and argues that environmentally-friendly sanitary pads should get a complete tax exemption.

Those that aren't bio-degradable should have a minimal tax levied on them to dissuade its large scale use, the petition says.