After a year of protests and campaigns, the government on Saturday decided to exempt sanitary napkins from the ambit of Goods and Service Tax (GST). As the GST council met in New Delhi for a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, the decision to remove the 12 per cent tax on the menstrual hygiene product was announced.
The news was welcomed by people on social media and it got everyone talking — from politicians to celebrities. While many thanked the government for finally withdrawing the tax for which they received much flak online, others argued it was only justified and long overdue, stressing it should have happened earlier. Some also said the people who fought for the cause should be thanked and not the government. A few users online also questioned why the government decided to backflip when for months they tried to explain the tax was a necessity.
Here’s people reacted to the decision on Twitter:
Congratulations to all Indians. #SanitaryNapkins have been exempted from GST. More power to men who contribute to women empowerment and help them lead a life of dignity.
— Gunja Kapoor (@gunjakapoor) July 21, 2018
Better late than never. This is a great step in favour of women. #SanitaryNapkins are no more a luxury item.👏👏
— мσυмιтα❤ (@moumita03) July 21, 2018
Long overdue. Why it was there in GST?
— Pankaj Punu (@PunuPankaj) July 21, 2018
Why thank you ???
They will do all these tricks till 2019 and God forbid, if idiots elect them again, we will beet back to posting exorbitant prices for everything https://t.co/Lijg60e2On
— jaiHind (@JaiHindKiSenaa) July 21, 2018
— sherins (@shselv84) July 22, 2018
Now sanitary napkins exempt from GST. Ok. Why it was brought under GST in the first place? And it took one year to exempt it despite widespread protest by the people! #GST
— Shrinivas Karkala (@s_karkala) July 21, 2018
After explaining 100000 times why sanitary napkins cannot be made Gst free govt made it GST free, this has been the headline of finance ministry. First explained why Langar cannot be made GST free and then did it after brickbat. Why this indecision?
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) July 21, 2018
Centre displayed extreme arrogance by not exempting sanitary napkins from GST over past 1 year! Glad that finally GST Council has made this happen. When Bindis & Sindoor can be exempt from tax, why not pads – lack of which cause terrible suffering to girls and women. https://t.co/mZlgzgMGnI
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) July 21, 2018
Sanitary napkins exempted from GST after one year. Thank you to all the strong headed women behind it.#LahuKaLagaan ab nahi. :)
— Anushka Pandey (@anushkaapandey) July 21, 2018
Sanitary napkins are exempted from GST! Thank you to all the men & women who fought towards this tirelessly. This is amazing!
— ✖️k (@kaystakes) July 21, 2018
Sanitary napkins are now exempt from tax. It seems like the government finally understands that menstruation isn’t a luxury for us. Who’d have thought?
— Keya Shah 🌹 (@keya_s14) July 21, 2018
So we had so many reasons to keep Sanitary Pads under GST … What changed suddenly? No Chinese threat now?
— Mihir Jha ✍️ (@MihirkJha) July 21, 2018
#SanitaryNapkins we were asking this past 1 year. Atleast gov listened the ppl voice now. I wish election comes every two year because ppl voice will be reached more often. for this we are ready to pay the expense for election.
— Rajkumar (@Rajvenka) July 21, 2018
Also, this move was rather important as 2019 is round the corner. About time. Such moves are most welcome. This should be just the beginning in india, for the feminist movement is yet like an ocean undiscovered. :) #SwasthaBharat #SanitaryNapkins #sanitation #India
— La Venus Vida (@LaVenusVida) July 21, 2018
— Roshan Kakade (@KakadeRoshan) July 21, 2018
Now that Sanitary Napkins are exempted from GST….. I will still have painful periods…..but atleast they will be cheaper.
— Bhakti (@NotSoUncomical) July 21, 2018
Finally! Sanitary napkins to be exempt from GST.#GSTCouncilMeet
— Pankaj Ahuja (@panku_) July 21, 2018
Sanitary napkins exempted from GST and does BJP expect all us women to cheer for taxing a necessity in first place?
Stupidity has no cure #GSTCouncilMeet
— Prabha Raj (@deepsealioness) July 21, 2018
Apart from sanitary napkins, the GST Council also declared stone/marble/wood idols, rakhis, sal leaves, phulbhari jhadu to be exempted from GST. There will also be a rate cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent on items such as lithium-ion batteries, vacuum cleaners, domestic electrical appliances, paints and varnishes, water coolers, articles such as scents, perfumes, cosmetics. The GST rate cuts announced today will be effective from July 27.