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No Fear No Favour

Maneka Gandhi speaks in SheWings’ initiative of YesIBleed: “It’s nothing but losing unused blood”

SheWings initiative of #YesIBleed witnessed remarkable personalities from around country; the major highlight remains the Union Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi, Bollywood actress Divya Dutta, patron, SheWings, Subhodh Gupta and among others. Giving a 20-minute long speech in the event, held in the PDH chambers of commerce, Delhi, Union Minister speaks the need for the use of sanitary napkins and why the government of India doesn’t keep the sanitary pads in the zero percent tab.

Explaining what menstrual cycle is, Maneka Gandhi, says that “It’s nothing but losing blood or losing unused eggs from the body.” Speaking as why the government decided to not make it tax-free like the ‘sindoor’ and the others, she said, “There was a big hue and cry on reducing the GST from 18 percent to 0 percent. It was resisted by all the state, and there was a good reason to resist. The GST council decided to take it (sanitary pads) down from 18 to 12 percent, which is a significant comedown.”

She further adds, “The reason why we come down to 12 percent is that the 95 percent of sanitary towel market is dominated by the multi-national, and if we take it to zero, then the MNCs has the power to spread laterally. Thereby, blocking any kind of indigenous growth. So, if we put 12 percent on MNCs while, at the same time, allowing any company (having turnover) below Rs 20 lakh, will get zero taxation under GST. And then allowing any groups (and) NGOs, or women’s group to come up and become an entrepreneur (in) sanitary towels.”

Maneka Gandhi also shared her experience on as how people are innovating sanitary pads, giving the example of a person who approached the Minster of his version of re-usable sanitary pads, she said, the person has invented a type of re-usable sanitary towels that can be washed. Unfortunately, it can’t be used in rural areas because a rural area lacks water and washing detergents.”

Watch her full speech here:

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