Some of the hygiene products will have lower prices by 13 percent

Toilet paper, Photo: Free press

Toilet paper, wet wipes and children's and adult diapers will be sold at a lower price, and Minister Bekteşi appeals to pass legislative amendments to reduce VAT from 18 to 5 percent.

The government will freeze the prices of hygiene products, setting the highest price at which they can be sold until May 30. The Minister of Economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi, indicated that it is about toilet paper, wet wipes, children's and adult diapers, and sanitary napkins. The upper limit will be a reduction of 13 percent from the prices that were in retail trade on March 20 of this year. Minister Bekteshi was determined that the decision was made on the basis of detailed analyses. He previously said that the Government is ready to waive VAT for these products, but the Parliament should decide on that.

- Why am I mentioning this tax, because in a parliamentary procedure from a year ago, we submitted a legal solution for these products in order to resolve the long-term tax reduction of these products, that is, to reduce the VAT from 18 to 5 percent. But to this day, the Committee on Financing and Budget has not been convened to adopt that legal solution - added Bekteshi.

According to the analyzes of the Ministry of Economy from March 1 to 24 this year, the price of toilet paper ranged from 94,8 to 205 denars and at this price, when VAT is calculated, it would range from 111,8 denars to 241,9 denars . Most of all these products, ie 85 percent, are imported. The average price of wet wipes ranged from 94,6 MKD in January, 94,5 MKD in February and 83,2 MKD in March 2023, and the import duty rate is 6 percent, excluding VAT. For diapers, the price ranged from MKD 36 per piece to MKD 1.600 per box with many packages, and VAT is not included here.

"Sloboden Pechat" made a tour of the markets yesterday, and it was possible to notice some reductions in the prices of some brands of toilet paper, but according to the traders, this is part of the regular weekly actions.

By the way, in one year, only toilet paper was one hundred percent more expensive, and the prices of sanitary napkins, which are also covered by the government's measures to freeze prices, had an impact on the standard.

The growth in the prices of hygiene products was global, and as early as 2021, as a result of the pandemic, the price of wood pulp, which is used to produce various types of paper, including toilet paper, jumped. One of the analysts of the pulp industry Brian McLay pointed out that "never in the history of production have we seen such a monthly price increase of $1.000 per metric ton."

- The increase in the prices of hygiene products is a combination of several factors, primarily raw materials and energy. Some of the machines are gas-powered and some are electric, and we did not use beneficial energy. Last year there was also a big shortage of cellulose, due to the increased consumption in China. Transport prices were also increased. If the state decides to freeze the prices of hygiene products, then attention should be paid to the quality of the products - some of the domestic producers told "Sloboden Pechat".

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