Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has announced that his government in 2024 would offer some tax reliefs to local manufacturers of sanitary pads.
Presenting the 2024 budget Statement in Parliament on Wednesday, Ofori-Atta announced that his government would particularly grant a zero rate Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally produced sanitary pads, and further grant import duty waivers on raw materials for local manufacturers of sanitary pads.
This means that local manufacturers of sanitary pads would be exempt from the 15% VAT as well as the duties to be incurred when importing raw materials for their production. Once implemented, this could reduce the market prices of sanitary pads sold by local manufacturers.
However, this would not affect foreign brands of menstrual hygiene products imported into the country. Those goods under the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) classification would still maintain a 20% import duty and 15% VAT rate.
The announcement in part may come as good news to activists and civil society groups, who have consistently fought against taxing sanitary pads and tampons.
“We cannot stand by while the government makes it harder for women and girls to access essential menstrual hygiene products. Taxing sanitary pads is a regressive policy that disproportionately affects those who are already marginalised,” said one woman who joined protests earlier today at Parliament House ahead of Ofori Atta’s budget reading.
In September, Member of Parliament for the Madina Constituency, Francis Sosu, presented a Private Members Bill to Parliament, seeking to remove the 15% VAT and reclassification of the 20% import tax on sanitary pads and tampons.
Business industry players, like the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), who although were against a complete overhaul of taxes on all menstrual hygiene products, served statements last month, asking the government to scrap taxes on sanitary pads for local manufacturers.