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Akshay Kumar, Twinkle Khanna, Real Life PadMan Among Those Who Welcome GST Exemption On Sanitary Pads

GST Council’s decision to exempt sanitary pads from the tax of 12 percent has been welcomed by everyone from ordinary citizens, politicians to celebrities.


New Delhi: After a year long protest from all quarters, when finally the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council decided to exempt sanitary pads from the tax in its meeting on July 21, reactions poured in on social media welcoming the decision. From ordinary citizens, politicians to celebrities welcomed the government’s decision to exempt sanitary pads from the 12 per cent GST.  The move is being seen as a relief to women especially in rural areas, and will hopefully give them access to a healthier and dignified life. While many thanked the government for finally withdrawing the tax for which they received much flak, others argued it was ‘better late than never’.

Also Read: 23 Million Women Drop Out Of School Every Year When They Start Menstruating In India

Actor Twinkle Khanna, who called the GST on sanitary pads as ‘Menstrual Tax’ has welcomed the decision and said:

When I raised questions about why there was GST on sanitary pads I had a large number of people barking at me – glad to see positive results finally.

Twinkle Khanna also congratulated the real life PadMan Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads, for his work towards breaking taboos around menstrual hygiene in rural areas.

While her husband, actor Akshay Kumar who essayed the role of reel life Pad Man and has embraced the cause in real life, also expressed his happiness to the news of the exemption.

“One of those days when a news brings tears of joy as a cause close to ur heart gets fulfilled. Thank you, #GSTCouncil, for understanding the need for menstrual hygiene & exempting sanitary pads from tax. I’m sure crores of women in our country are silently sending gratitude ur way,” tweeted Akshay Kumar.

A number of Ministers, Chief Ministers and leaders cutting across party lines took to Twitter to welcome the decision and called it a vital step towards the health and well being of women and girls. The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi lauded the decision and stated that this will give the required thrust to our menstrual hygiene initiatives and will transform lives of many women.

Congress leaders Priyanka Chaturvedi and Jyotiraditya Scindia thanked Sushmita Deb, Member Parliament from Silchar, who initiated an online petition to make sanitary napkins tax-free, for championing this important cause.


Another Congress leader Sachin Pilot also welcomed the move stating that the government took a year to understand that sanitary napkins are not a luxury item.

Shiv Sena Member of Parliament from Kalyan in Maharshtra, Dr Dhrikant Eknath Shinde, also congratulated the government for this decision as it will benefit women from rural areas.

Here is how some of the Chief Ministers of BJP-led states and union ministers reacted to the news:

Earlier this year during the launch of Asmita Yojna in the state, Maharshtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had decided to bear the cost of sanitary napkins for 50 girls for the next 12 months, whereas the state’s Minister for Rural Development, Women and Child Development, Pankaja Gopinath Munde decided to do the same for 151 girls for the next 12 months. The Asmita scheme aims to provide sanitary napkins at the discounted price to women in Maharashtra, a pack of eight sanitary napkins at Rs 5 only. Reacting to the news of GST exemption Ms Munde said that the move will help the Self Help Groups (SHGs) implementing the scheme on the ground.

But the GST Council’s decision is seen as a victory for women from all walks of life across the country, who have been protesting ever since GST was implemented over a year ago.

Also Read: Sanitary Napkin PadBank: Here’s How Some Women Are Pushing The Menstrual Hygiene Cause

Trisha Shetty, a social activist who founded SheSays, a non-profit that empowers the country’s women to act against sexual violence by providing education, legal, medical as well as psychological support, thanked the GST Council for doing what is right.

Also Read: Delhi High Court Seeks Reply From Finance Ministry On Imposition Of 12% GST On Sanitary Napkins

She Wings, which is a social movement to spread awareness about menstrual health among homeless, low-income women and teens also welcomed the decision by posting a picture holding a sanitary pad which states “Thank you Finance Minister and GST Council”.

However, there are also some users on Twitter who argued that people who fought for the cause to make sanitary napkins tax-free should be thanked rather than the government, which took over a year to understand the concern.

Also Read: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Will Receive 1,000 Sanitary Napkins With Menstrual Hygiene Messages, Here’s Why


“Better late than never. This is a great step in favour of women. #SanitaryNapkins are no more a luxury item,” said a user on Twitter.


“Yes exemption of GST from #SanitaryNapkins is an improvement but not something we should be content with, because it shouldn’t have even existed at the first place. Government needs to provide not just pads, but all sorta menstrual hygiene products for free instead,” tweeted another user.



NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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