Zero tax on local sanitary pad does not address urgent needs of women – Alhassan Suhini

The Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Sayibu Suhini, says the removal of tax on locally produced sanitary pads does not come with the urgency with which Ghanaian women want the increasing cost of sanitary pads to be addressed.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, presenting the 2024 budget, announced a number of interventions including a zero Value Added Tax (VAT) rate on locally manufactured sanitary pads, and removal of import duty on raw materials for the local manufacture of sanitary pads.

However, Mr Suhini, speaking on Citi Fm’s Big Issues, said the policy did not address the current issues of women who lamented over the high cost of the sanitary product.

‘We are talking about the urgency of now. The fact that young ladies are unable to afford these products because they are priced out of their reach…If you are announcing a policy, the question is how is it going to address the current problem? It is going to take a while for people to import these raw materials and produce.

second thing is that how many young ladies already use the locally produced ones and how long is it going to take for them to change to these locally produced ones? So it is not addressing the urgency of now,’ he stated.

Touching on other aspects of the 2024 Budget, Mr Suhini said the extension of tax exemptions in the budget was not the most appropriate means of helping companies, which were still struggling in spite of existing tax exemptions.

‘If I am already enjoying an exemption today and I tell you that despite the exemption I am enjoying, my business is going down, and you come and announce an extension of that exemption and you say that is the relief I need, are you being sincere? Clearly, that is not how these companies can be helped,’ he said.

Dr. Kabiru Mahama, Technical Adviser to the Vice President, on the contrary, said the Budget sought to provide respite to Ghanaians.

He said the Budget had made adequate provisions for various sectors of the economy and contained reliefs that were meant to
support economic growth and the vulnerable in society.

Source: Ghana News Agency