Saturday, 20 October 2018 11:07

Sri Lanka’s excise duty revenue from alcohol sales dropped by over Rs.7 billion

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Sri Lanka’s excise duty revenue from alcohol sales has dropped by over Rs.7 billion during the nine months with the tumbling of liquor sales, officials said.

Senior Officials of the Excise Department pointed out at a recent meeting that there was no point in blaming the officers or the department for the loss in the revenue due to economic difficulties.

However a top official of the Finance Ministry has severely reprimanded excise officers blaming them for their inefficiency in tax collection at the meeting publicly, a senior excise officer said.

Excise Department officials have brought to the notice of finance ministry official that poor and middle class people are tend to consume illicit liquor such as moonshine as they cannot spend the present increased price for liquor including arrack.

They also noted that the dearth of knowledgeable officers on the subject at the department was one of the main reasons for poor tax collection.

The finance ministry has planed to gain additional revenue between Rs. 20-25 billion as a result of increasing excise duty on liquor.

The Parliament recently passed the Excise (Amendment) Bill with new amendments including a decision to introduce a sticker for every bottle of arrack that was produced legally.

According to ministry sources this initiative would lead to a reduction in illicit liquor from hitting the market while increasing Government revenue through excise duty.

Alcohol volume based Excise Duty has been introduced from 2018 budget depending on the type of liquor – hard liquor at Rs 3,300 per liter of alcohol, beer and wine at Rs 2,400 per liter of alcohol .

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