‘Removal of tax on locally manufactured pads insignificant
The removal of tax on locally manufactured pads by the government is insignificant, the Managing Director of Reflo Company Limited, producers of Reflos sanitary pad and baby diapers, Ms Rebecca Osam,has said.
This, she said was due to the fact that only a small percentage of pads used were produced locally. She said majority of the productswere imported.
Consequently, she proposed that government should consider removing taxes on imported sanitary pads to make them affordable.
Ms Osam said this in an interview with the Spectator in Accra last week.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta in his budget statement to Parliamentlast week announced that locally manufactured sanitary pads will no longer attract Value Added Tax (VAT).
He added that government would be scrapping import tax on raw materials for thelocal manufacture of sanitary pads.
But Ms Osam said the removal of VAT on locally produced sanitary pads would positively benefit only local producers.
However, she said since a small fraction of sanitary pads used were produced locally, the tax relief would not be felt by the users.
“Majority of sanitary pads are being manufactured internationally and importerswould still bear the VAT cost, thereby affecting their final prices.”
“I will continue to advocate the removal of taxes on all sanitary pads. These are essential products for women, not luxuries,” Ms Osam said.
Meanwhile in an interview with a cross section of women in Accra, they lauded government’s idea of zero tax on locally made sanitary pads, saying “we hope the market women will reduce the prices of locally manufactured pads.”
Ms Naomi Agyeman, a National Service Person with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) said it was a good idea for government to remove taxes on locally manufactured pads.
She was of the view that it will help reduce the price and also be affordable for the less privileged and students.
She urged local manufacturers to either maintain or improve the standards of the pads to increase its presence on the market.
Ms Veronica Adwoa Mensah, a student said, “I think that is a good step taken by the government. As females, pads are very important for us and it becomes difficult for us to purchase when the prices are high.”
She was optimistic that with the zero tax, prices of locally manufactured pads will be reduced and also urged government to consider taking taxes off imported sanitary pads too.
Ms Pamela Davodzie, a student, said she will definitely purchase locally manufactured pad when the quality is good at the expense of the foreign ones
By Elizabeth Agyeibea Ackon