While Kenyans are going ham on the national treasury over an excise duty on Alcoholic drinks, our sisters in the South have something much more essential being taxed by their government. Tanzania government has reintroduced Value-added tax on sanitary products, an essential good for every woman of age through the better part of their life.
The VAT on the sanitary products was scrapped off last year to help reduce the consumer price on the product but in the domestic market, but it did not work out as planned according to the Tanzania Deputy Finance Minister.
“Instead of the anticipated outcome, domestic factories reduced production due to the tax factor, resulting in job losses,” the deputy finance minister told parliament while explaining the controversial reinstatement of the VAT in the 2019/2020 budget.
To promote local content and encourage independence on imported products while increasing domestic production, local manufacturers of sanitary pads, a portion of their corporate tax was sliced from 30 per cent to 25 per cent for new investors in the industry for two years.
“We will also extend a similar benefit to existing producers from July 1 this year through to 2021,” the minister added.
Vocal opposition politician criticised the government’s move, saying indicative prices should have been introduced to do away with unscrupulous traders.
“Menstruation is a biological issue and bringing back VAT is an injustice to women, especially low-income earners,” protested the politician.
While reading the 2019/2020 budget, Tanzania finance minister told the parliament that wigs manufactured locally will now pay 10 per cent tax whereas imported ones will attract 25 per cent tax, while baby diapers in will have a zero customs duty on raw materials used in the production in the country for one year to reduce the cost of locally manufactured diapers. Initially, the raw materials attracted a 10 per cent however imported diapers will attract a 25 per cent customs duty.