Soft liquor laws to be relaxed Move essential for tourism

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By 2017-09-23

By Skandha Gunasekara

It has been proposed, by the Ministry of Tourism, to relax the restrictions imposed on soft liquor sales through the upcoming budget, Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunga told Parliament yesterday.

The Minister revealed this in...... response to a question raised by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana. The Minister went on to note that his Ministry had requested the Finance Ministry to ease laws relating to soft liquor such as beer and wine.

"Availability of soft liquor is essential for the tourism industry. Soft liquor is available in almost all shops in other countries which focus on tourism, whereas it is the opposite in Sri Lanka. Therefore we have asked the Finance Minister to remove some restrictions imposed on soft liquor sales," he said.

MP Pathirana noted that several beer manufacturing companies had initiated a large scale production drive upon being tipped off about the Government's move to reduce restrictions on soft liquor. Minister Amaratunga also noted that the Government was carrying out the imposition of taxes on apps and online websites that offer hotel booking service. "These ventures earn a large revenue while the Government and the country as a whole loses at the end of the day," the Minister said.

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