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Bombay HC seeks Centre’s reply on plea to exempt GST on sanitary pads

MUMBAI: Bombay high courton Thursday issued notices to the Union and State governments seeking their response on a public interest litigation which was sought exemption of goods and services tax (GST) on sanitary napkins

Sanitary napkins are to be taxed at 12 percent. The PIL is filed by Shetty Women Welfare Foundation pointing out that only 12 per cent of the menstruating women can afford sanitary napkins in India.

Senior advocate Mihir Desai, appearing for the Foundation, argued before a bench headed by the chief justice that “almost 90 percent women are unable to access the most hygiene product.” The judges directed notices to be issued to the Centre and state government and posted the hearing after four weeks.

According to the petition, imposition of 12 percent GST has a “devastating impact on the menstrual and reproductive health of girls and women in India. It said “steps need to be taken by the government to increase the access of women to basic menstrual hygiene products in order to improve their health and protect their rights under Article 21 (Right to Life).”

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