Colombo [Sri Lanka], October 3 (ANI): Amid the ongoing economic crisis in the country, Sri Lanka has cut taxes on female sanitary products in a bid to help women unable to afford the hygiene product, according to reports.
Local media News First citing the presidential media division reported that the "government has taken measures to waive duties imposed on five imported raw materials for locally produced sanitary napkins."
"It (the government) has also been decided to provide tax concessions for imported finished sanitary napkins as well," News First reported further.
According to the reports, a price of a pack of 10 sanitary napkins produced locally will be reduced by Rs 50 to Rs 60 with these tax concessions, and the maximum retail price of a pack will be Rs. 260-Rs 270.
The consumer retail prices of imported finished products will be reduced by 18 per cent or 19 per cent.
Sri Lanka continues to reel under a severe economic crisis. Earlier, protesting the dire conditions, Sri Lankan protesters had broken into then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's private residence and set it on fire. They were angered by the unprecedented economic crisis.
During those protests, several journalists were also attacked by the security forces after which more protestors gathered in the area. Notably, Sri Lanka is suffering from its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely undermining the country's ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The protests came after the worsening economic situation in the country led to increasing tensions and reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations where thousands of desperate members of the public queued for hours and sometimes days amid the fuel crisis.
Sri Lanka has been suffering a diesel shortage since February, which led to hours of daily power cuts. At present, Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours.
The island nation is also facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has, incidentally, affected its capacity to import food and fuel, leading to power cuts in the country. The shortage of essential goods forced Sri Lanka to seek assistance from friendly countries.
India has been at forefront of extending economic assistance to Sri Lanka as per their requirements and is one of the countries that have provided the maximum amount of assistance in time of need. In 2022, India extended around USD four billion in bilateral assistance to Sri Lanka. (ANI)