Government defends imposing 15 percent CESS tax on pads

The Government today defended the decision to impose a 15 percent CESS tax on pads.

Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament today that the public have been misinformed about the tax on sanitary napkins.

He said that the Government did not impose a new tax but instead slashed the import tax on sanitary napkins from 30 percent to 15 percent and imposed a 15 percent CESS tax.

“We have not imposed a new tax on sanitary napkins,” he said.

Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said that the CESS tax was imposed to promote locally produced sanitary napkins.

He said that the policy of the Government is to promote local products and reduce imports.

Recently Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Diana Gamage had appealed to the Government to make sanitary napkins an essential item.

Speaking in Parliament during the 2021 Budget, Diana Gamage had said that 52 percent of the population in Sri Lanka are women.

She noted that the 15% tax imposed on sanitary napkins is having a serious impact on women in the country.

“I appeal to the President and Prime Minister to make this an essential item,” she had said.

Gamage said that some girls refuse to attend school during menstruation as they cannot afford sanitary napkins. (Colombo Gazette)