Rajitha Senaratne told parliament yesterday (13) that as the health minister, he opposed the concession given for beer, and asked finance minister Mangala Samaraweera to withdraw it.
A reduction in the price could influence schoolchildren into drinking beer, he said.
Patali Champika Ranawaka told the House two days previously that Kasippu, the illicit liquor, could not be contained by reducing the beer price, and that that would only deny an income to the state.
Also, that will influence children and women into drinking beer, said Ranawaka.
Internationally-accepted excise tax procedure
When referred these criticisms to a senior official of the finance ministry, he said ‘harder the liquor, higher the tax.’
If an alcoholic beverage with a liquor content lower than that of beer enters the market, the tax will be less, he said, adding that that is the internationally-accepted excise tax procedure.