ECONOMYNEXT – The Excise Department of Sri Lanka can issue a limited and conditional license to “wine stores” to distribute liquor online, provided the Ministry of Finance approves it, Commissioner of Excise Kapila Kumarasinghe said.
Kumarasinghe told reporters yesterday that the department has received requests from the industry, supermarket chains and consumers to permit online liquor orders.
“The department has forwarded its observations and recommendations regarding these requests to the Finance Ministry. We expect a response from the ministry soon. If ministry approval is given, we can give a very limited and conditional license to distribute liqour online,” he said.
Sri Lanka has banned alcohol in an ongoing unofficial COVID-19 lockdown, triggering a black market in booze while do-it-yourself hooch (kassippu) videos are going viral racking up hundreds of thousands of views.
Police has been cracking down on a spike in illegal activity relating to liquor production since the ban came into effect.
If online delivery is permitted, the government can expect to earn some much needed revenue and the move will also help bring down secondary/black market price of a bottle of arrack. (Colombo/June16/2021)