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Top brewer says Lankans now consume more hard liquor and toddy

28 November 2016 09:44 pm - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The rashness demonstrated by the new regime in making tax policies has not only made the business of brewing tougher than ever but also pushed the people towards hard liquor, which is arguably more detrimental to health.

According to the country’s top brewer, Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC (LION), the alcohol industry has now been made liable for not just the higher excise duty, which was raised back in October 2014, but also for the higher value-added tax (VAT), which came into effect from November 1, 2016, making the total tax increase on beer up to 70 percent compared to the 25 percent increase in taxes on spirits.

“The beer industry – to a degree greater than the others in the alcohol sector – has been at the receiving end of this type of ad hoc and incomprehensible policymaking for many years.
With the advent of this government, we hoped things would change and that a more rational approach would prevail.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case and today Sri Lankans consume a significantly greater amount of hard alcohol than they did two years ago,” the company said in a note to its interim financial accounts released to the Colombo Stock Exchange recently.

This irrational tax policy by the government appears to have pushed the people to consume more spirits and toddy, while the consumption of beer has reduced by 39 percent. But the consumption of spirits has increased by 9 percent during the same period.

Alcohol consumption in a country could go up either if the population is extremely happy or they have been made extremely poor. While the former condition mostly drives the demand for formal liquor and a milder version of alcohol such as beer, the latter condition could drive the demand for illicit liquor or moonshine.

Therefore, excessive taxing of the formal alcohol industry could in fact boomerang on the government both economically and socially. But successive governments milked both the tobacco and alcohol industries whenever they found their exchequers depleted.  

But analysts point out that this strategy could become futile as the demand will not remain inelastic forever.

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  Comments - 18

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  • Don Tuesday, 29 November 2016 10:11 AM

    Can we get a regulatory commission to standardize the liquor they produce They have false claims every one of them. Nothing is pure as they claim. Theyre distilled chemicals and the consumers must be made aware of it. via DM Android App

    Don Tuesday, 29 November 2016 05:15 PM

    And then we should change the name to Sri Arabia

    Chandra Tuesday, 29 November 2016 10:22 AM

    The politician in this country does not think latterly,so they introduce these taxes,at the end country will suffer.

    George Harry Tuesday, 29 November 2016 10:34 AM

    You are against Lord Buddha's teaching, who says, SURA MEDA MADJAPAMA VERAMANI SIKKAA PADAN SAMAADIYAAMI. Therefore, you are not fit to live in his nation.

    Kale Tuesday, 29 November 2016 10:34 AM

    When beer is an expensive alcohol and arrack is cheap, what will poor people drink?I know which will damage their livers and brains, but the government full of rich ministers doesn't.

    Jude Tuesday, 29 November 2016 10:41 AM

    Hiran, FYI alcohol is available plenty in American military camps in Saudi!!!

    Sam Monday, 28 November 2016 10:37 PM

    It is a buddist country. No beer spirits or wine should be required other than for sale to tourists.

    Thomas Ranger Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:38 PM

    At least no VAT on 'Katu Kambi'

    Kiris Baba Amaray Tuesday, 29 November 2016 06:53 AM

    You mean only tourists should go to hell?

    Bubble Banda Tuesday, 29 November 2016 06:54 AM

    Buddhist only consume more liquor than others.

    Kadupol Jothywansa Tuesday, 29 November 2016 06:57 AM

    Better completely close all the Liquor business.

    J Palitha Tuesday, 29 November 2016 07:00 AM

    Beer was a good drink and the prices were reasonable, but now with the taxes... only Kattu Kambi (illicit liquor) is only the cheapest drink.

    hiran Tuesday, 29 November 2016 07:06 AM

    Even though its a Buddhist country its also a democratic one. people have the right to chose whether to follow a religion or not and to decide how they enjoy themselves within the legal framework. otherwise we will end up like Saudi Arabia where life is dictated by only religion via DM Android App

    anonymous Tuesday, 29 November 2016 07:08 AM

    Buddhism is a self righteous path, where you opt to act or ommit out of understanding rather than out of legal obligations. If we impose such rules then we are no worst than Isis. Even prince Sidattha lived a flamboyant life prior to becomeing the Buddha. It's only after understanding that happiness is temporary he was able to seek enlighten.

    hiran Tuesday, 29 November 2016 08:43 AM

    we srilankans love to have a drink and enjoy which is the truth. via DM Android App

    Maduka Tuesday, 29 November 2016 08:57 AM

    And more කසිප්පු too

    adamsapple Tuesday, 29 November 2016 08:59 AM

    Are you drunk??

    das Tuesday, 29 November 2016 09:47 AM

    Great!! Let's celebrate!!


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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.