The Bombay High Court today issued notice to the Centre and the Maharashtra government seeking their response to a plea for exemption of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sanitary pads. A city-based NGO Shetty Women Welfare Foundation had approached the court on June 29 stating exemption of GST on sanitary napkins was necessary to make access to basic menstrual hygiene products easier for women.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar issued notice to the Centre and the state government and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks. The petition contended that only 12 per cent women in India can afford sanitary napkins thus leaving the basic hygiene product out of reach for the remaining population.
Under the GST regime that rolled out on July 1, sanitary napkins are in the 12 per cent tax category.