Sri Lanka cuts tax on female hygiene products

Customs duties, airport levies and other local taxes on raw materials imported to make sanitary items waived with immediate effect



By AFP

Published: Sun 2 Oct 2022, 4:41 PM

Sri Lanka's government on Sunday cut taxes on female sanitary products in a bid to help women and girls unable to afford them because of the country's economic crisis.

Even before the downturn last year, many schoolgirls and women in Sri Lanka, like in other poor countries, would stay home when menstruating because they couldn't afford sanitary products.

A study this year by policy advocacy group Advocata said "period poverty" - being unable to afford sanitary products - among Sri Lanka's 5.3 million women of reproductive age was about 50 per cent.

Campaigners believe the situation has worsened, with Sri Lanka suffering severe shortages of essential goods and inflation rates in excess of 70 per cent.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe's office said Sunday that customs duties, airport levies and other local taxes on raw materials imported to make female hygiene products was waived with immediate effect.

Imported pads and tampons will also cost 20 per cent less due to a reduction in import duties, Wickremesinghe's office said in a statement.

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