Make disability aids like wheelchairs, hearing aids, screen reader software, etc GST FREE!

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Problem
A screen reading software for a visually challenged, or a hearing aid for a hearing-impaired, or elbow crutches & wheelchair for me - are as much a necessity as sanitary pads for any woman.

Yet, these two categories of necessities are being taxed differently. Disability aids continue to attract 5% GST on final sale, and up to 18% GST on manufacturing inputs. WHY?

In return, we have for decades, been subjected to atrocious infrastructure! Hardly any public places, government buildings, public transport, schools, colleges, and almost anywhere outside - are accessible. Heck, I have even heard of school buildings with no elevators - so they neither have to hire disabled teachers nor admit disabled students!

If the government can't provide us with the necessary infrastructure, it should not, and CAN NOT, at the very least, make basic-living, expensive for us.

WE REFUSE TO PAY FOR ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT BENEFIT US!

Solution
The Ministry of Finance, GOI, must immediately reduce the final GST on disability aids from 5%, and GST on input items from up to 18% to 0% (ZERO PERCENT). Currently, manufacturers charge 5% on sale and claim input credit of excess GST paid by them on inputs. If both GST rates are brought down to 0%, it will significantly reduce the final cost of disability goods for users like me.

Please sign this petition and spread the word!

Personal story
I am a Mumbai-based Chartered Accountant and a Financial Advisor. I am also a user of elbow crutches and wheelchair as I have Cerebral Palsy.

According to the 2011 Census, approximately 2.7 crore people (2.2%) in India are disabled. In my personal opinion, these numbers are grossly understated. At the very least, they are nearly a decade old and hence the actual number (even official) would be extremely high! No doubt we are a significant part of the society (although sometimes it feels not so). Therefore, our collective voice must be heard.



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