Prices of pads to go down by Rs. 50-60

Following instructions by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Government yesterday (2) announced that measures have been taken to waive duties imposed on five imported raw materials that are essential for locally produced sanitary napkins, and has also taken steps to provide tax concessions for imported finished sanitary napkins.

This decision was reached by the Government in order to make hygiene products more affordable, in view of ensuring hygiene among women and schoolgirls.

The price of a pack of 10 sanitary napkins produced locally will be reduced by Rs. 50-60 through these tax concessions, and the maximum retail price of a pack will be Rs. 260-270. Also, the consumer retail prices of imported finished sanitary products will be reduced by 18-19%.

Manufacturers are instructed to obtain recommendations from the Secretary to the Ministry of Industries to obtain the tax concessions at the import stage of the raw materials, and the relevant mechanism has already been formulated.

Accordingly, the Customs import duty of 15%, cess duty of 10-15%, and Port and Airport Development Levy (PAL) of 10% have been waived on importation of five raw materials and the import of intermediate goods. Locally manufactured sanitary napkins are given 0% Value-Added Tax (VAT), while importers of finished sanitary napkins also get the benefit of 0% VAT. All these benefits will remain in effect during the crisis period.

Local manufacturers had recently requested the Government to reduce the duty on the importation of raw materials for sanitary napkins due to the fact that high duty levies increased the price of sanitary napkins.