Sri Lanka lifts tax on sanitary napkins

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has lifted a 30 percent import tax on sanitary pads imposed by the last administration, the finance ministry said.

The tax was imposed on 30 percent of value or 300 rupees a kilo, if someone managed to find a low cost sanitary napkin.

Sri Lanka has a number of such taxes especially in areas like shoes and butter to keep prices high and help politically connected oligarchs exploit poorer consumers in particular.

There is a value added tax, a port and airport levy and a nation building tax as well, the finance ministry said.

There was no mention of tampons.

In the UK, where drugs and medical devises are free of value added tax (tampon tax), activists have been trying to make tampons and sanitary pads a medical device and exempt it from VAT.

The European Union has said it is planning to zero rate sanitary products. (Colombo/Sept20/2018)

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