Tuesday August 21, 2018

Sri Lanka President sulks over beer price reduction

Dec 04, 2017 14:21 PM GMT+0530 | 3 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena Monday expressed displeasure over the reduction in beer prices following his government's new tax formula for alcoholic drinks that made the brew cheaper.

Sirisena said any reduction in alcoholic drinks was not acceptable to the government's temperance drive and said the country had received accolade from the World Health Organisation for its anti-alcohol and tobacco policies.

"I cannot accept the reduction in beer prices... Getting more revenue from alcohol and tobacco should not be part of government policy," he said in parliament while speaking on the health ministry votes.

However, he ended his 15-minute speech by saying that he approved Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera's 2018 budget proposals. A key plank of the budget was the reform of the way alcohol was taxed.

Samaraweera had taken what he called a pragmatic view and imposed tax based on the alcohol content of drinks which made beer and wine cheaper. It is also hoped that lower prices will discourage the consumption of hard liquor.

Following the new tax formula, beer prices fell by about 50 percent while wine too became considerably cheaper.

Any increase in alcohol prices usually lead to an expansion of the illicit liquor industry which does not pay any taxes but have emerged an influential lobby that finances politicians as well as law enforcement.

(COLOMBO, December 4, 2017)



  1. sacre blieu December 05, 07:34 AM

    Is ours a free market economy. If so, the reduction of beer tax is going to to help a monopoly and the authorities are pretending to be blind to such a conspiracy. The government should open out to other importers of brands and insist that this monopoly is broken up. More super-luxury flats for a favoured few?

  2. Feldwebel December 05, 01:38 AM

    Beer is much better than drinking hard alcohol. As a matter of fact a glass of beer a day is good for flushing the kidneys as it is pure water and malt barley.Sirisena is not sulking over all the corruption and crime taking place in the country.
    Even the majestic elephants are not spared. What does the man want ?????????To advocate the drinking of Kassippu.
    This is the end result when spineless, uneducated, illiterate, Sinhalese politicians are voted into power.Gone are the days of good politicos and present are the days of Scumbags.

  3. Truth December 04, 07:57 AM

    He can sulk all he wants. Government should not control every part of our lives, regardless if it's good or bad. There should be a limit to how much government can interfere in our freedom to do and have what we want.Focus more on ending poverty through valuable job creation and bring communities together. Not go after alcohol and sugar.

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