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Sri lanka News – Licensed alcohol makers are also evading excise taxes and state revenue is not only lost due to moonshine, State Minister for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said.

Sri Lanka has high levels of taxes on legal alcohol encouraging the production of moonshine.

According to a report produced by the World Health Organization Sri Lanka’s alcohol production had grown by 95 percent between 2006 and 2014, but the legal sector had grown by only 50 percent. The tax unpaid sector had grown 300 percent.
the minister said.

“This 300 percent growth did not come from moonshine made under hedgerows (badawatiye),” Minister Siyambalapitiya had told at a meeting of excise officials. “It is sometimes done by individual who have obtained excise licenses and wear ties.”

According to industry sources, tax unpaid alcohol is under-reported to authorities and sold via politically connected individuals who operate retail outlets.

Retail licenses are sometimes sold at very high prices, which are not justified by the margins which are available from legal sales, according to industry officials. (Colombo/Nov08/2022)

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