Monday August 26, 2019

Sri Lanka cuts beer tax, ups tax on sweet drinks

Nov 09, 2017 19:04 PM GMT+0530 | 9 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka, a country where kids still suffer from malnutrition, has slapped sugar tax on kids drinks, copying an interventionist levy practised in European rich countries where people are obese, while cutting taxes on beer.

Sri Lanka has in the past adopted interventionist fads from European nations including interventions in language.

In Sri Lanka fizzy drinks are among the few foods enjoyed by poorer kids.

Unlike their rich urban counterparts, poorer kids walk longer distances, sometimes without shoes, which are taxed heavily in Sri Lanka.

A tax on 50 cents will be imposed on a gram of sugar in drinks.

Hard alcohol will be charged 3,300 rupees per litre of tax, beer and wine 2,400 rupees. The state policy of taxing beer heavily over decades has tended to promote hard liqour use, some have argued. Until 2015 however 'strong beer' was taxed at a lower rate, helping a drive up demand.

Sri Lanka also cut a tax on beer cans, which was alleged to have been imposed in a bid to promote quarter bottle arrack sales.

Other interventionist taxes include a carbon tax which goes up to 1.50 per cubic centimetre for vehicles over 10 years old. (Colombo/Nov09/2017)



  1. Namalee November 09, 08:59 AM

    What about tea? How many cups of tea with how much sugar? Chocolates? What about toffees? This is a crazy and illogical move.Agree that government no business trying to control what we eat.

  2. remembering November 09, 08:48 AM

    Yes. I used to drink a Fanta or chocolate milk at 5.00 o'clock after tution class. We were dead tired. We got enough energy to get in the bus and go home. It did us no harm. Our problem is the night meal is too heavy in Sri Lanka. Also we eat it very late. That cannot be fixed by sugar taxes.All day at work we stare at a screen and go home in a car.

  3. Jagath November 09, 08:46 AM

    It is collective punishment to tax sweet drinks. The fat man and the thin man is both hit with the same tax.
    Ha ha. You liberals who voted for 'Yahapalanaya' are only now beginning to see the light.

  4. Ratne November 09, 08:40 AM

    Sanipa, You may be right that some sweet drins (in excess) is not good for you. But it is not the business of govt to poke their fingers into what we drink. Anything in excess is not good for you. You cannot solve nutritional problems by taxing one thing or another.Regarding beer and alcohol, taxes should be strictly neutral.
    People should decide what they drink not stinking politicians.Beer, hard alcohol should be taxed strictly on alcohol content. They should be taxed not on health concerns but because it is an easy revenue measure.

  5. Mano November 09, 08:35 AM

    I am not a Mahinda Rajapaksa fan but now we are forced to realize that these people are hurting people for the hell of it. This is Mangala and Eran. You cannot blame these on Ravi K anymore.

  6. Sanipa November 09, 08:25 AM

    One problem I Sri Lanka is the substitution of sugar to compensate for energy as people dont eat nutritious food that is availble . The writer should talk with experts without making emotional statements . EN is good piece of blog dont bring the standard. Down

  7. Murry November 09, 08:23 AM

    Yes it does not make sense. What is better, beer, wine or Ginger beer with a meal?It is nothing to do with the finance minister what we drink.

  8. Ranil November 09, 08:17 AM

    Obesity is not caused by sweet drinks. It is caused by the ingestion of too much carbohydrates and fat and too little exercise. Rice, bread, chocolates all are too blame.It is ridiculous to target sweet drinks.It in like taxing alcohol. Good eating habits with lots of vegetables help. Taxing sweet drinks is not the answer.

  9. Chrys November 09, 08:10 AM

    This is idiotic and the reporter sounds like a anti western comrade. Drinks with too much sugar is habit forming and a cuase of obesity in rich and poor countries alike. It is sound and necessary policy.

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