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