- Recent statistics have proved that regular consumers have begun distancing themselves from government taxed arrack and beer as prices have gone up exorbitantly
- The demand for legally produced liquor in the country had declined by 30%
The Department of Excise warned that the production and consumption of harmful illicit liquor is dangerously trending in the country as ‘tipplers’ are unable to continue buying their regular legally produced alcoholic beverage owing to skyrocketing prices.
Sources at the department said their recent statistics have proved that regular consumers have begun distancing themselves from government taxed arrack and beer as prices have gone up exorbitantly and their purchasing power has decreased drastically.
The issue has been taken up at a recent meeting of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) held at the Parliament under MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa
which was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Department, Sri Lanka Customs and the Sri Lanka Excise Department.
There the Excise officials have pointed out according to their figures the demand for legally produced liquor in the country had declined by 30% and as result consumers were slowly moving towards the cheaper option of consuming illicit spirits.
The COPF meeting had been held to review and discuss about the present and future options of increasing the government taxation and the Excise Department has said that their annual targets were gradually decreasing due to consumers turning away from legitimate spirits.
Further to the impact on the future Excise revenue authorities are highly concerned about the health factor of liquor consumers as the impact of consuming illicit spirits like ‘Kasippu’ cannot be taken so lightly,Excise sources said. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)