By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Having the highest annual revenue target in 2023 of Rs.217 billion in history, the Department of Excise has experienced a tax revenue drop of 12.2%, to Rs. 25.1 billion in the first two months this year from Rs. 28.6 billion in revenue during the same period last year.
This was recorded despite a 20% increase in liquor tax. Compared to the income received during the first two months of the previous year.
In accordance with the annual revenue target of Rs.217 billion for the year 2023, which is the highest in the department’s history, the Excise tax revenue has dropped by 35% during January and February.
Department’s spokesperson, Excise Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe said several reasons would have affected this figure, including three recent price hikes of alcoholic beverages, owing to the excessive expenses on raw materials and also increasing of the Excise tax imposed by the government.
The decrease in the excise revenue, he said, was not due to a drop in the liquor consumption. Instead, the sale of illicit liquor had increased, he said
Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya had recently told Parliament that the consumption of illicit liquor had increased by 300 percent in Sri Lanka quoting WHO survey reports.
He noted that despite projections the Government would fall short of its excise revenue target by 30% there will be revision to the tax on alcohol products.
Siyambalapitiya told the house that following the price increase in January with new excise tax by over 20%, excise revenue from alcohol sales had dropped 7.4%. in March, which is usually a high volume month, had seen a dip in production this year of almost 40%.
He also noted that whilst it is good to reduce alcohol consumption, it has been observed that consumers have turned to cheaper illegal alternatives, and …read more
Source:: LNW English