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Decrease in local liquor production

Finance and State Revenue Minister Ranjith Siyabalapitiya told Parliament yesterday that in comparison to the year 2007, the production of local liquor has slightly decreased during 2008.

"A total number of 50,087,293.73 litres of arrack produced locally in 2007 had been reduced to 45,910,161.38 litres by 2008, he said.

Compared with 2005, figures the importation of foreign liquor has also been decreased during 2006. In year 2005, 1,311,734.000 litres of foreign liquor had been imported to Sri Lanka. But this quantity had dropped to 1,270,643.000 litres in 2006, the Minister said.

The Minister said the Government has not issued any liquor licence to anybody to open new liquor shops. The Government has taken every possible measure to stop the production of illicit liquor under the "Mathata Thitha Programe" implemented by the Government.

Minister Siyabalapitiya said the Government has successfully implemented "Mathata Thitha programe" throughout the country to prevent the people consuming liquor. However, the consumption of liquor cannot be completely stopped at once.

An attitudinal change should also be created among the public in this regard. Under the "Mathata Thitha programe", this task is being successfully conducted by the Government.

The Government did not increase the tax on foreign liquor with the purpose of increasing its annual tax revenue. This move was adopted by the Government to decrease the import of foreign liquor, he said.

The Minister was responding to an oral question raised by the JVP MP R.P.A. Ranaweera Pathirana.

Responding to a supplementary question raised by the JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, the Minister said if anybody can prove that the Government has issued new liquor licences, steps will be taken against it within a day.

 

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