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Amendment proposed to slash taxes on menstrual products

27 November 2018, MVT 17:19
Islamic Centre's female cleaning staff. Some of them have spent 30 years in service to the centre. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
27 November 2018, MVT 17:19

Kurendhoo MP Abdul Baaree Rasheed, on Monday, proposed to amend the Goods and Services Tax Bill to abolish duties on menstrual hygiene products.

Abdul Baree spoke to local media outlet Mihaaru, expressing hopes that the amendment would receive popular support as tax exemptions on sanitary products would bring great social benefits.

The issue is set to be discussed during Tuesday’s parliamentary session.

Sanitary products have been taxed as luxuries since the introduction of GST in 2011. Pads, tampons and other sanitary products are currently taxed at 6 percent.

Cancelling duties on all menstrual hygiene products was a pre-election pledge made by the recently elected President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The new administration plans to do this in the first 100 days of its leadership.

The issue has been receiving more attention among locals with a popular Twitter movement under the hashtag #MassaruTax contributing greatly to increasing political awareness since 2016.

If the amendment is approved, Maldives will join a line of nations who have recently abandoned the ‘tampon tax’. India abolished their 12 percent tax on sanitary products in July while Colombia scrapped their 5 percent tax earlier this month. Australia approved the decision to slash in October.