Pads and tampons are now available tax-free

College students stage a demonstration against GST on sanitary napkins in Bengalore, India on July 11, 2017. (File Photo/IANS)

The GST exemption on maternity and menstruation pads and tampons came into effect this Monday.

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) has issued a tax ruling announcing sanitary towels and sanitary pads, panty liners, sanitary belts, internal devices for menstruation and maternity pads will be GST free in Maldives, starting this Monday.

A GST of 6 percent used to be taken from these products before the new administration drafted the amendment to GST Act to allow for a tax exemption on them.

The amendment was passed with the unanimous consensus of 73 parliamentarians on November 28, and ratified by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on December 3.

Many parliamentarians noted that simply cutting GST was not enough, but that the government needs to put in place a monitoring mechanism to ensure businesses lower the market price of pads and tampons so the true purpose of the legislature is fulfilled.