According to the “2022 Budget” proposal submitted by the Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa yesterday (12), the revised excise tax increase will be effective from today (13), said the Excise Department Spokesman Commissioner (Law Enforcement) Kapila Kumarasinghe.
He said at a press conference today that the notification was issued with the signature of the Minister of Finance yesterday.
The tax on special arrack has been increased by Rs. 380 from Rs. 3,800 to Rs. 4,180.
The tax on molasses, Palmyra arrack, coconut attack, and seasoned arrack has been increased by Rs. 410
Tax on locally-manufactured foreign liquor such as whiskey, brandy, gin and rum has been increased by Rs. 420, from Rs. 4,150 to Rs. 4,570.
Kumarasinghe said the tax hike is based on the amount of pure alcohol per liter of arrack, adding that the intention of this move is to discourage the consumption of liquor with a higher percentage of pure alcohol.
In addition, the tax on imported wine has been increased up to Rs. 3,300. For beer with less than 5% of alcohol, the tax has been increased by Rs. 100 while the tax on beer with above 5% of alcohol has been increased by Rs. 250.
Further, the tax for a 750 ml bottle of special arrack has been increased by Rs. 96.14 while the tax on other arrack has been increased by Rs. 103.73.
The tax on locally-manufactured foreign wine went up by Rs. 126.84 per 750 ml. while the tax for beer with less than 5% of alcohol per 625 ml was increased by Rs. 3.10 and for beer with higher percentage of alcohol by Rs. 14.00.
The excise commissioner noted that the taxes should be paid on the quantity produced, irrespective of whether the liquor manufactured by these companies is not sold.
Kumarasinghe further added that accordingly, there may be a further increase in the liquor prices when determining the retail price and the companies are legally authorized to do so.
He further added that a mechanism has been formulated to recycle or reuse the 250 ml bottles of alcohol in a bid to prevent the environmental damage caused by the indiscriminate disposing of these bottles.