Bombay High Court Asks Govt to Work on Reducing Prices of Sanitary Napkins
Voicing concern over health hazards faced by women, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government to consider cutting down the high prices of sanitary pads. The court also asked the government to make them available for women at cheaper and concessional rates. A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Nitin Sambre issued a notice to the Woman and Child Welfare Department of the government and asked it to respond within two weeks.
The judges heard a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting the health hazards faced by woman due to non-availability of sanitary napkins at affordable rates. The petition highlighted that nearly 88 per cent women do not use sanitary napkins since they are sold at higher prices. The petition also highlighted the fact that imposition of the recent 12 per cent Goods and Service Tax (GST) has further worsened the scenario.Having heard the contentions, Justice Patil said, “We think the government must consider cutting down the rate of these napkins. It must be made available at concessional rates.” “Apart from providing pads at cheaper rates, the government must also focus on increasing public awareness about their use. We think the government can issue guidelines to women in Gram Panchayats, Mahila Bachat Gats and other organisations to spread awareness in rural areas,” Justice Patil added. The government advocate told the judges that local bodies and corporations may not comply with these guidelines.
As carried in FPJ