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Liquor consumption down by 9.5 per cent
State Revenue and Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya on Tuesday told parliament that consumption and production of alcohol had dramatically reduced, thanks to the ‘Mathata Thitha’ programme of the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto.

Compared with the statistics of 2007, the consumption of alcohol had reduced by 9.5% and its production too had decreased by 9.42% in 2008, he said.

This reduction was due to the strict implementation of the law by carrying out raids on illicit breweries and sales outlets. The increase of prices of alcohol due to higher taxes was also an important contributory factor, he said. Taxes on liquor had been increased by 44 percent on foreign liquor, 34 percent on beer, and 69 percent on wine, Minister Siyambalapitiya said.

The Minister made this statement in response to a question raised by UNP Matale District MP Ranjith Aluvihare.

Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara lauded the ‘Mathata Thitha’ programme and said both Government and Opposition lawmakers must contribute whole heartedly to the success of this project. He said, he was an MP from 1977 but never gave a license to open a liquor bar or wine shop to any of his supporters. Therefore, all MPs should abstain from obtaining liquor licences for their supporters and thus promoting the consumption of liquor he said.

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