Tanzanian Women To Save 15 percent On Sanitary Pads

By Gadiosa Lamtey

 Tanzanian women are expected to save a minimum of Sh7,000 per year following the scrapping of Value Added Tax (VAT) on sanitary pads, which is slightly more than 15 per cent.

The Citizen calculation shows that one women spends at least Sh36,000 inclusive of VAT per year on buying the sanitary pads, but following the government’s decision, they will now be spending Sh29,232 only. The calculation was based on average 144 sanitary pads pieces used by one woman per year or three pieces per day at a retail price of Sh2,000 per pack.

The Msichana Initiative founder and executive director, Ms Rebeca Gyumi, commended the government’s decision saying VAT was forcing the prices of the sanitary pads to go up.

“Prices were high because manufacturers had to pay VAT when importing materials. However, the sanitary pads prices will certainly go down now. We are also planning to meet various manufacturers and discuss issues pertaining to the product,” said Ms Gyumi

She said a discount of 18 per cent per pack will make the sanitary pads affordable for poor women and girls. According to her, discussions are needed between women rights advocacy groups and manufacturers to determine how cheaper they can sold.

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Ms Gyumi added: “There is, however, still a challenge for manufacturers because we doubt that they may start producing substandard products to maximise profits that’s why we want to meet them.”

The plan to scrap VAT on the sanitary pads was announced by the minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango, when tabling the proposed budget for the 2018/19 financial year last week. Special Seats MP (Chadema) Upendo Peneza told The Citizen that the effort made by government to scrap VAT was commendable, but more efforts should be made to ensure that the low income women also benefit.

Moreover, addressing the press in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, ACT Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe proposed changes in the government budget tabled last Thursday.

Mr Kabwe who was presenting his party’s post-budget analysis on Sunday said the removal of VAT on sanitary towels was a good move but wants the government to excempt excise duty and abolish income tax on producers of the products.

Source: allafrica.com

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