Notwithstanding the government’s much hyped ‘mathata thitha or policy against alcoholism’, the local manufacture of hard liquor and beer had increased in large volumes last year, reports say.
According to an Excise Department report, 49 million litres of hard liquor had been manufactured last year - an increase on the 41.1 million litres manufactured the previous year while 71.3 million litres of beer was manufactured last year as against the 55.5 million litres manufactured in 2009.
In addition, the Excise Department earned revenue of Rs.407 million last year on liquor permits as against the Rs.384 million earned in 2009. The Department had also earned Rs.234 million on fines imposed by Court during the year under review.
The Excise Department said the sale of liquor in the North and East in the post conflict era and the increase number of tourist arrivals was some of the reasons for the increase in the country’s liquor production. It said the raids carried out on illicit liquor breweries had also led to an increase in the sale of legalized liquor brands. (By Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)