Demand for alcohol falls by 30% as prices soar, Parliament Committee informed

Thursday, 23 June 2022 02:56 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Officials tell Public Finance Comm. there is an increase in illicit alcohol production
  • Says Excise Dept. falling short of revenue targets due to shortage in ethanol, distribution issues

The demand for alcohol has decreased by about 30% due to the recent increase in the price of liquor leading to a decrease in the amount collected in related taxes, the Committee on Public Finance was told yesterday.

This was disclosed by officials representing the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policies, the Inland Revenue Department, the Sri Lanka Excise Department and the Sri Lanka Customs who joined the meeting online.

They told the Committee that there were several issues preventing the Sri Lanka Excise Department from reaching its target revenue, one of which was the limited quantity of ethanol available for the production of liquor.

The other problems included the shortage of fuel that was resulting in delays in  distribution.

The expected revenue of the Inland Revenue Department and its current situation were also discussed.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa who attended the Committee meeting discussed with the officials how to change tax policies and take steps to improve tax administration.

In addition, a detailed discussion was held on the revenue expected to be obtained by the Excise Department of Sri Lanka at the end of this year.

The meeting was presided by Committee chairman MP Anura Priyadharshana Yapa.