19th May, 2019

High Court Questions the GST applied on Sanitary Napkins

Recently, the Honourable Delhi High Court has questioned the decision of the government to imply GST-India’s biggest tax reform- on sanitary napkins. The concern seems grounded and logical, both.

The High Court has now sought an explanation- on why sanitary napkins should not be exempted like bindis, Sindoor, and Kajal from the purview of GST. The court is hearing a petition filed by a Jawahar Lal University student Zarmina Israr Khan, who has challenged the 12% GST levy in the court, terming it unconstitutional and illegal. The Court also raises concerns like no discussion with the Ministry of Women and Child Development concerning a pressing matter like this.

The central government standing counsel implied that sanitary napkins had excise duty of 6 percent and VAT of 5 percent, which has been compressed into 12% GST now.There is very less awareness about the use of sanitary napkins because of which many young girls have to leave their school education. The use of sanitary napkin is an integrated part of the hygiene and sanitation issue in the hinterlands of India, directly affecting the girl’s education subject.

So, instead of building more awareness and encouraging girls or their families to begin using something as basic as a sanitary napkin, why is the government focused on taxing it even further?