A correctly taken decision it is, first of all. And the reasons are many, all of them being important. Exempting Goods and Services Tax from sanitary pads finally erased their name from the list of items which are counted as “luxury”. Yes, the fact that we don’t have to pay GST on sanitary napkins restates the truth –that they are one of the basic necessities for half of the population.
Exempting sanitary napkins from GST therefore is a decision taken for the general public good.
We live in a country where women belonging to economically weaker section don’t get proper facilities of menstrual hygiene. A friend of mine updated her whats app story the other day which went thus:
“My maid asked me to give her my old, ragged tee shirt which I was throwing away. I knew that she only wears suits and sarees and hence could not be asking for the tee to wear it. So I asked her what she would do with this tee shirt. She replied that she would use it during her periods as she can’t afford sanitary pads.”
And this story is just the tip of the iceberg. The reality in its entirety is even more heartbreaking. A lot of girls and women find it difficult to go to schools, colleges, and offices because of the unavailability of cheap sanitary napkins.
Thanks to the exemption of sanitary napkins from GST, the scenario is expected to change soon which would be a step ahead in the direction of women empowerment.