The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has approved free sanitary napkins for schoolgirls in its Budget, PTI reported.

Shikha Rai, the Leader of the House in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation, said there was still a lot of taboo around menstrual hygiene, and “many girls skipped school during menstruation”. “So we decided to give them sanitary pads when they need it,” Rai said. “We have also sensitised our teachers about it.”

The civic body’s Budget for 2018-’19 also exempts medal winners at the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games from paying property tax.

The civic body cleared the Budget during a special session of the SDMC House, chaired by Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat. It will come into effect once the municipal commissioner approves it.

While finalising the budget, Rai rejected a new tax and a hike in the property tax that were proposed in the commissioner’s Budget in December 2017. However, the corporation will impose a 1% education cess on property tax dues, The Indian Express reported.

SDMC Commissioner Puneet Goel had proposed increasing the commercial property tax and had the support of the corporation’s standing committee chairman. If this proposal was approved, the corporation would have earned an additional Rs 100 crore, The Times of India quoted an official as saying.

Rai, however, said the civic body was rejecting the proposal as it did not want to burden the people with more taxes. She said the educational cess will bring the corporation at least Rs 25 crore in revenue.

The corporation also announced that parking fees will not be charged in residential colonies. Other proposals include renaming schools, parks and community centres after “martyrs, freedom fighters and great leaders” and an increased focus on education and environment.

Rai said the SDMC’s Budget proposes to introduce new nursery sections in 46 schools, install solar panels on civic body buildings and set up 130 charging stations for electric vehicles, The Indian Express reported.