While asserting his opposition to the tax concessions granted to soft liquor such as beer and wine, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne today urged the Finance Minister to withdraw the proposal before put to the vote in parliament.
Speaking during the Budget debate, he said children would be motivated to drink beer and thereby be induced to use stronger alcoholic drinks.
The minister said steps should be taken to reduce the consumption of alcohol and added that he, as the health minister, would not support any proposal detrimental to the health of the people.
He said the facts brought to justify the decision to reduce tax on beer were completely wrong.
"The figures on the consumption of illicit liquor which was said to be 49% is wrong. According to police and excise department reports, consumption of illicit liquor has reduced. It is only by 6% of the population," the minister said and added that the excuse that beer consumption had been promoted in European countries could not be applied to Sri Lanka because the situation in Europe was different from ours.
"Beer is a part of the meal and life style in Europe. It's their tradition. But in Asia, we consume beer to get a kick out of it," he said and added that the fact that tax concessions were given to beer to make Sri Lanka a modern country was unacceptable because modern countries had increased tax on liquor.
The minister said liquor consumption had resulted in most road accidents, suicides, diseases and domestic violence. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)
Citizen Monday, 13 November 2017 20:41
Whilst appreciating the Health Ministers concern on this, as a fellow minister in the cabinet, it would have been much better those concerns taken up at cabinet level before presenting it in parliament. After all these budget proposals were approved at the cabinet before they were presented to parliament.
Reply : 5 24
Dee Monday, 13 November 2017 20:51
Oh yes! Illicit brew only 6%. The health minister really does not know his statistics . He should take a tour around wennappuwa .
Reply : 2 31
ceylon Monday, 13 November 2017 20:56
dr rajitha is correct.also this is not rule yet its a proposal only.its optional to reject or accept.prove its wrong and reject it. via DM Android App
Reply : 15 4
Haramanis Monday, 13 November 2017 21:02
Rajitha only drinks single malt whiskey - so it does not matter to him if the poor man is deprived of beer.
Reply : 1 27
Jamalji Monday, 13 November 2017 21:12
The price of liquor is above the income level of public. Hence, it seeks refuge to licit dens. In India, the price of liquor is lower than that of Sri Lanka. Health Minister wants public to drink licit liquor and die soon or fall sick. Govt. should bring down the price of liquor to earn more income.
Reply : 2 25
Citizen Perera Monday, 13 November 2017 21:27
Instead of cut down on Beer price....cut down illicit brewing with heavy fine and 10 year imprisonmant.
Reply : 15 2
nsw Monday, 13 November 2017 21:39
90 pct of ministers drink whisky brandy and expensive liquor. Can Rajitha confirm t whether he drinks or that he got used to hard liquor becuse he used to drink beer when he was. These are all foolish talk just to score point. Mangala has taken the correct decision and should nor listen to these type of politcal cheap talk
Reply : 3 29
nadeeka Monday, 13 November 2017 22:09
Illicit liquor is rampant everywhere. Even in Colombo district. It is absurd to say that it is only 6%. This proposal from the govt is a good one to reduce the price of beer. Because kasippu is far cheaper and attractive if not.
Reply : 0 19
sg Monday, 13 November 2017 22:26
Yes, it should be seriously considered..
Reply : 13 1
Jolt Monday, 13 November 2017 22:52
If one finance minister decreases tax on wine because he enjoys wine. Then next finance minister decreases tax on beer because he drinks all the expensive beer in the world. what kind of yahapalane is this?
Reply : 11 2
snowy Monday, 13 November 2017 23:14
Why? There is nothing wrong in have a drink like a gentleman.
Reply : 0 20
mamakalu Tuesday, 14 November 2017 04:22
This guy has never lived in Europe so he doesn't know that they drink beer to get a kick out of it too. Students here (in Europe) get drunk basically everyday
Reply : 3 10
Baron Baaron Tuesday, 14 November 2017 10:02
That is exactly the point. We don't want our students get drunk almost daily by consuming cheap beer. In Europe it reflects their lifestyle, but not here.
Reply : 7 1
Lord Wolfstein Tuesday, 14 November 2017 11:38
If students in Germany were to get drunk every day, they would only have poor university degrees like the students in Sri Lanka.
Reply : 0 8
smartgent Tuesday, 14 November 2017 09:05
A person who wants a drink or addicted to it, will definitely buy at whatever the price. Since liquor brings in income to the govt., cancellation of tax cut on beer is justifiable.
Reply : 6 3
BuffaloaCitizen Tuesday, 14 November 2017 10:47
If we are to use this stupid logic, lowering the price of also durian can lead to high levels of sex, population growth and social disease.
Reply : 2 4
Sunil Tuesday, 14 November 2017 13:37
Guys, please keep quiet and let us enjoy beer at reduced prices.
Reply : 0 9
nick Tuesday, 14 November 2017 16:19
mandele katchal election is nearing... via DM Android App
Reply : 0 2
senaka Wednesday, 15 November 2017 09:08
Its better to drink a pint of beer (about 340ml) than a coke or any sweeten drink. To curtain more use have only pint size beer of bottles or cans in regular shops. Sell only the lower alcohol ones at lower prices while the strong beer should be much higher in price. Also have the strong beer only in larger cans and bottles since our people mix it with hard liquor to get that extra kick.
Reply : 0 0
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