The State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that even licensed distilleries are brewing illicit liquor  Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Lanka Excise Officials Association on Friday, Minister Siyambalapitiya said that overall Sri Lanka’s illicit liquor industry has grown by 300 percent in recent times.

“Not paying the taxes genuinely to the state could also be defined as engaging in illicit liquor manufacturing industry. From 2004 to 2016 Sri Lanka’s illegal liquor industry has grown by 95 percent according to the WHO report and the country’s genuine liquor industry has grown only by 50%,”

he said.

Observers are questioning why the State Minister of Finance who is aware of irregularities of licensed breweries is not taking action to review the licenses of such distilleries.

Sri Lanka’s alcoholic beverages, which consist of arrack and beer, are taxed at exponential rates.

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