Dar es Salaam. ACT Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe has described reinstatement of Value Added Tax (VAT) on women’s sanitary pads as “a punishment for women.”
This was said by the Mr Kabwe, the Kigoma Urban legislator, during a 2019/20 budget analysis yesterday in Dar es Salaam.
The minister for finance and planning, Dr Phillip Mpango, announced the reinstatement of VAT on sanitary pads, after traders failed to reduce retail price of the goods despite tax being scrapped during 2018/19 financial year.
However, Finance Minister Mpango said the government has reduced corporate income tax for investors who manufacture sanitary pads locally from 30 to 25 per cent.
This is also aimed at attracting many investors on sanitary pads to reduce dependence of imports, which will also create employment opportunities.
Mr Kabwe said reinstating VAT on sanitary pads will hurt women who depend on the product every month.
“Menstruation is a biological issue and if we have slapped the pads with VAT, it is clearly an injustice to women - and it will largely hurt those with low incomes,” he said.
He called on the government to introduce indicative prices of sanitary pads in order to curb unscrupulous traders.
He said the sanitary pads business is valued at $150 million (nearly Sh400 billion) as 12 million women are consumers of the product every month.