On Women’s Day, Govt Launches Biodegradable Pads Priced At Rs 2.50
The Union government makes monthly “luxury” item affordable. No, the government hasn’t done away with its 12 percent GST on sanitary pads. However, it has made its own brand of biodegradable sanitary napkins – Suvidha – which were launched on International Women’s Day on Thursday, 8 March.
On Thursday, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar unveiled sanitary napkins that will be available for Rs 2.50 each. Available in packets of four and priced at Rs 10, the pads will be sold across 3,200 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana centres.
Ironically, not even a single woman was part of the panel which introduced this product for women on a day which is earmarked to celebrate women.
Speaking at the event, Ananth Kumar said, “This affordable sanitary pad will promote hygiene, ease of disposal as well as keep the environment clean”.
The new sanitary pads seem to check all the categories – affordability, environment friendliness, hygiene and quality.
At a time when the average market price of four sanitary napkins is around Rs 32, the government has launched these oxo-biodegradable pads priced at Rs 10 for four pads for health security of women, especially for those who are underprivileged and are in rural areas.Ananth Kumar, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister
However, as the minister announces the government’s brilliant initiative for cheaper pads, one question remains – isn’t the 12 percent GST one of the reasons behind the high price of sanitary napkins? Under the new tax regime the central government has put sanitary napkins in the luxury category.
Ironically, the “affordable” pads come at a time when women across the country are arguing that pads are a basic necessity and should not be taxed at all. However, the government has been arguing over merits of exempting tax on non-biodegradable sanitary pads.
While the government launched the Suvidha pads, on Women’s Day, two NGOs – Tasya and Chandran’s Yuva Foundation installed two sanitary napkin vending machines at the Coimbatore Medical College in Tamil Nadu. Similar machines will be installed in public places like bus stands in Gandhipuram, Singanallur, Ukkadam and Mettupalayam in the district.
(With inputs from PTI and NDTV)