The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, has strongly criticized the imposition of taxes on sanitary pads, describing it as a cardinal sin.
The issue was brought to the attention of Parliament through a petition submitted by various civil society organizations, urging the removal of taxes on sanitary pads.
Expressing his deep dissatisfaction with the taxation of sanitary pads, the Speaker emphasized the need for immediate government action to address this concern.
“The issue they raise is a very serious issue, why have we passed a law imposing taxes on sanitary pads? This is unconscionable, it is a cardinal sin. The House shouldn’t have allowed it at all. You know the impact of that law on human resource development is immeasurable.
“I have a copy of the petition and I am going to take immediate action to prevent whoever is the minister proposing that thing to take it off. The next budget it must not appear, it cannot be a tax.”
The Speaker’s remarks followed a protest by a group of Civil Society Organizations demanding the government’s removal of taxes on sanitary pads.
According to the group, the 12.5 percent value-added tax (VAT) and the 20 percent import tax on sanitary pads have caused a significant increase in prices, making them unaffordable for many women who make up 51 percent of Ghana’s population.
Speaking on behalf of the group, spokesperson Ama Pratt stated that they would persist in their efforts to have the taxes abolished by the government.
Despite the mounting pressure from various groups to eliminate the taxes, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) cautioned against such a move, asserting that it would have severe negative consequences for the economy.
The AGI issued a strong warning to the Akufo-Addo government, advising against the removal of taxes on imported sanitary pads.
According to the association, any attempt by the government to remove taxes on imported sanitary pads at the expense of local manufacturers would be detrimental to the economy.