By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
An Opposition MP yesterday slammed the Department of Excise for failing to respond to the recent allegations that were made against the latter in the House regarding a controversial tender agreement with an Indian company, that would eventually result in a loss of Rs.1 billion per year.
Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana addressing a media briefing said the Excise Department has issued a statement over his revelation in the House about a new security feature to be introduced for locally manufactured liquor bottles in the near future.
The MP said the department had entered into a Tender agreement with an Indian company named MSP (Madras Security Printers) to print a security sticker to be pasted on all liquor bottles.
The initial agreement was to print a sticker costing 25 cents but later it had been changed into a barcode imprinted on the label of the liquor bottle for a cost of Rs.2. This increase in cost had not been done through a second tender calling and it leads to great suspicion whether some third party is gaining a huge profit out of it, MP Pathirana said.
This alone had resulted in a loss of Rs.1 billion per year.
This method of pasting a security sticker was first applied to foreign liquor bottles being sold at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) duty free shops to discourage racketeers from smuggling in stocks of foreign booze.