In 2011 and 2013, Section 15 of the Excise Ordinance was amended to exempt Kithul, Palmyrah and Coconut from having to obtain a license to tap for toddy or draw toddy from the trees mentioned above.
New regulations have been introduced prohibiting the extraction of toddy from the coconut tree with effect from January 1, 2018.
According to amendments to the Excise Ordinance (Amendment) Act, no tree producing toddy, other than kithul tree shall be tapped with effect from January 1, 2018.
According to a Cabinet paper submitted by Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, the Cabinet granted approval to establish “a regulatory methodology to monitor the quantities of toddy received to distilleries, toddy taverns, bottled toddy manufacturers and vinegar manufacturers and preserve tax revenue and control unlawful toddy production by calculating the toddy harvest drawn from a tree as per Excise Regulations.
Earlier, the Tamil Guardian reported that plans to outlaw the extraction of toddy from palmyra and coconut palm trees have angered unions in the North-East who say the law specifically attacks the palm wine trade in Tamil regions.