By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
Several leading liquor producers expressed their grave concerns over the drop of quality of their favourite products owing to have manufactured through ‘not so perfect’ locally produced ethanol, since the government imposed a ban on ethanol imports recently.
With the sole option in hand as having to purchase ethanol from the two government-run sugar mills in Sevanagala and Pelawatta, the liquor industry giants fear that the quality of their favourite products will be reduced as the locally made ethanol could not match with the imported ethanol.
Since the quality of liquor is determined through three vital aspects of its taste, colour and bouquet (odor) as well as the ‘mouth feeling’, a significant number of consumers have already started to feel changes in the foresaid elements especially in the taste.
One of the liquor company spokespersons said that the ‘mouth feeling’ or the feeling one would get when they take a sip of arrack could be subjected to differ on the negative side as the base product of ethanol had been changed from their trusted imported material to locally made ones.
Also, in several cases they had the feedback of regular consumers complaining of side effects of their favourite brand of arrack since lately, like extended period of hangover or headaches as well as bitterness in taste and difficulty felt in the throat after consuming.
When contacted, Excise Department Spokesman Deputy Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe told the Daily Mirror that the government took a policy decision to impose a temporary ban on ethanol imports over two crucial reasons.
These reasons are to control a large sum of revenue being flowing out of the country every year for these imports and to uplift the local sugar industry and its byproduct, ethanol with introducing a minimum price.
He said if there are such concerns about the quality of their products owing to the use of locally made ethanol, the industry giants could always get a lab testing done or seek the expertise of Government Analyst to prove them, and then thereby make a genuine appeal to authorities to reverse the decision on ban on imports.