September 26: The export of sanitary pads from Nepal has increased by 582 percent. Despite this encouraging trend, businessmen say that the industries that produce sanitary pads are shutting down in the country one after another.
According to the Nepal Sanitary Pad Manufacturers Association, 42 percent of the pad manufacturing companies operating in Nepal have shut their factories.
According to the data of the Department of Customs, Nepal exported 22.24 million sanitary pads worth Rs 56.88 million in just two months of the current fiscal year. In the same period last year, Nepal exported 2.78 million sanitary pads worth Rs 8.4 million.
Sanitary pads are exported from Nepal to the United States of America and India. According to the Department of Customs, pads were exported mostly to India in the current year. In the last two months, 22 million pads worth Rs 56.87 million were exported to India alone.
Dolraj Adhikari, president of the Nepal Sanitary Pad Manufacturers Association, says that despite the increase in exports, pad industries are shutting down. According to him, out of 35 industries operating in Nepal, about 15 have been closed.
“The pad industry is in trouble now mainly due to the economic recession and also because it does not fall in the priority list of the government. Therefore, to encourage the pad industry and to be completely self-sufficient in pads, it is necessary to change the difference between the customs duty on the import of ready-made goods and raw materials to of 10 percent, which is 2 percent at present.”
Meanwhile, in the two months of this year, Nepal imported 29.1 million sanitary pads worth Rs 186.8 million from abroad, according to the data of the Department of Customs. Last year, during the same period, 31.7 million sanitary pads worth Rs 245.2 million were imported.
Compared to last year, the import of sanitary pads decreased this year. Nepal imports pads from Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Korea, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and other countries.