The government yesterday announced a ban on ethanol imports to the country with immediate effect.
The Finance, Economy and Policy Development Ministry in a media communiqué said the decision was taken based on the adequate availability of locally-produced ethanol.
Ethanol, which is widely used in making arrack, is made at sugar companies, both state and privately owned.
Higher taxes on ethanol imports had created an ‘ethanol mafia’ in the country, who smuggled ethanol with the backing of powerful persons.
A total ban on ethanol imports used to make alcohol could increase the production costs of liquor makers in the country, thereby the alcohol prices for the end customers.