Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube, was on Thursday took to task by senators over the continued rise in the price of sanitary ware for women and girls. The price of a packet of panty liners reportedly costs between $3 and $7 dollars.
Bulawayo Metropolitan senator, who is also a member of the HIV/Aids Parliamentary Thematic Committee, Gideon Shoko (MDC Alliance) asked Minister Ncube to give clarity on why the government has not waived import duty on sanitary pads. Said Shoko:
The Finance minister said sanitary wear will be duty-free, but what is happening in the country right now is that instead sanitary wear is very expensive and is not affordable to the womenfolk.
In response, Ncube said that the government intends to combat inflation and will in the future look at removing duty for manufacturing of sanitary ware. Said Ncube:
The relief that I gave was that sanitary wear must be duty-free. I suspect that you are speaking of the general price increases of goods that have also impacted on the prices of sanitary ware.
We are determined to ensure that there is a growth of money supply and this has been shown by that inflation has dropped to 1, 7% in February from 17% in October last year.
We want to improve competition and remove duty for manufacturing of sanitary ware, and going forward we will look into that.