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Niine seeks support to lift import tariffs on sanitary napkins and ensure a healthy India


More than half of women are currently of reproductive age worldwide, and menstruation is a monthly reality for them. Many women in India lack access to menstrual hygiene products and sanitation facilities. Poor menstrual hygiene has resulted in the development of some serious ailments for teenage girls. More or less around
120 million Menstruating teenage girls in India experience menstrual problems that affect their daily tasks.

The government has been taking a very supportive and progressive stance to improve menstrual health and awareness in India. A strong government campaign initiative, which makes sanitary napkins GST-free and maintains free distribution of sanitary napkins for girls in schools, clearly shows the level of investment and the importance given to improving the feminine health and hygiene in the country. Making the GST category free was a big step in helping women consumers and helping keep prices affordable.

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There are still some hurdles in ensuring an affordable supply of #MakeInIndia sanitary napkins in India. “There are import tariffs for all the raw materials that are used to manufacture quality sanitary napkins. Most of these materials are not available in India and therefore we are dependent on imports. These raw materials attract import tariffs of up to 10%, followed by IGST, which are added to the cost of the product, eliminating these, it will further help in managing the cost of a quality product; and help us make supply more accessible to women in our country, “said Amar Tulsiyan, founder and president of Niine sanitary pads. The companies also rely on imports of sanitary napkin-making machinery, which also attract important import tariffs.

Until now, the sanitary napkin market has been dominated by multinational companies and imported sanitary napkins, and in recent years, Indian manufacturers have also entered the space. The widespread promotion of sanitary napkins has overlooked phase-out. Niine sanitary napkins entered this space two years ago and were the first brand to address the safe disposal of menstrual hygiene with biodegradable disposal bags with each sanitary napkin at an affordable price of Rs 28. Eliminate import duties on machinery and necessary raw materials for #MakeInIndia would be to give a stronger boost to the Indian industry too.

India has come a long way, but there are numerous barriers that affect this category. Up to 62% of young women in the country in the age group of 5 to 24 years still use fabric for menstrual protection, according to the National Survey of Family Health (NFHS) IV, whose
The findings were recently published. From the shame and a feeling of insufficiency in the menstruation of women, avoiding the retailers of this category, to the elimination of the priority of this monthly expense of the family basket. Rs 20-40 is all that is needed today to ensure safe menstrual hygiene.

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Releasing the import category and other tariffs can help #MakeInIndia companies to ensure more affordable products for women who do not use these sanitary napkins or who avoid due to cost barriers. It will also protect women and girls against cervical cancer and other health problems associated with menstrual hygiene such as anemia, long or short periods, reproductive tract infections, as well as psychological problems such as anxiety, shame and embarrassment. Using dirty pads can lead to yeast infections, reproductive tract infections, urinary tract infections, and even make women vulnerable to infertility. Any support provided to sanitary napkins and the menstrual hygiene industry goes a long way in protecting girls and women from numerous problems.

Disclaimer: This article was produced on behalf of Shudh Plus Hygiene Products by the Times Internet Spotlight team.

Times of India