India is on the verge of a tax revolution.
The plethora of existing taxes – verging from irritating to baffling – will get combined into one.
Central Excise Duty
Special Countervailing Duty
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Central Sales Tax (CST)
Taxes applicable on lotteries
More or less everyone agrees that it is a good move. And with India’s politics, anytime there is near unanimous consensus, you know it is a good thing.
The new GST will have basic tax slabs under which everything from aardvark to zyzzyva will fall.
As you can see, GST will be beneficial for the lower middle class and the poor.
So overall, most consumers agree that its a good things.
The problem is at a different area.
As you can see from the slabs, there are a number of goods/items that have been made exempt from taxation – mostly food grains, dairy, live animals, veggies and live trees, salt, blood, contraceptives, books, newspapers, journals, indigenous musical instruments, slates, hearing aids etc.
Only a hardcore anti-national Commie will find fault in these items. Food, education, and blood for all will be cheaper. As will contraceptives, and considering Indians’ love for bow chicki bow wow, that’s a good thing.
That being said, two things stick out like Ajit Agarkar’s ears.
33 Kumkum, Bindi, Sindur, Alta
39 Plastic bangles
Even if we discount sindur and alta as necessities – we are Hindus after all – inclusion of bindis and plastic bangles make no sense.
But it goes from merely irritating to WTF when you see this
96 (Miscellaneous manufactured articles)
Sanitary towels, tampons, sanitary napkins, clinical diapers [9619 all goods]
Say what now?
How the hell are these not essential items???
These are stuff that every single woman in the country needs for a large part of their lives….actually needs, not a luxury la di dah thing. I can understand tampons, since only rich city girls use it….but napkins and towels???
This is a country where a huge portion of girls don’t have access to proper sanitary hygiene and a huge number give up their education due to it. Its of paramount importance that they get as much help as they can.
Not only should there be zero tax on these products, but there should be vending machines in every girl’s loo in all schools, colleges, hospitals, banks, panchayat offices, stadiums, and in all the Sulabh Sauchalays around the country that dispense these essential things for free. Sure, some will get stolen, but it will change the world for hundreds of thousands of poor women around the country.
So come on government, do the right thing, cancel the taxes.
And hey if you are worried about loss of income from cancelling the tax, you can always increase taxes on tobacco, alcohol, gold, diamonds and Gooners.