The Sanitary Pad Manufacturers Association has stated that the budget arrangement will put the indigenous sanitary pad industry in crisis. In a statement, the union said that the reduction in customs duty on ready-made sanitary pads would hamper the domestic industry.
As the budget speech announced a 90 percent customs duty exemption on imported sanitary pads, the current 15 percent tariff will now apply only 1.5 percent, the union said. However, the union has stated that the industry has to pay more tax than the imported goods as the budget has not addressed the 1 percent customs duty on raw material imports and 5 percent excise duty on some packaging and raw materials.
Due to this, domestic production will become more expensive and low-quality pads may be imported from abroad, the association said. The association said that the quality of sanitary pads produced by various industries in Nepal is world-class and the products here have also received the Nepal Quality Mark. Nepali products are currently cheaper and of better quality than foreign ones. Nobody checks the quality of imported products.
The union claims that the country has become self-sufficient in the production of sanitary pads. The association said that 35 industries, large and small, have invested Rs 6 billion and have an annual production capacity of 900 million units of sanitary pads. The current demand in the Nepali market is only 300 million units. 6,000 people are employed, most of them women.