Sri Lanka raises alcohol taxes

Oct 09, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has raised taxes on alcohol ahead of a budget to be presented in parliament next month, a day after excise taxes on tobacco was raised, the island’s finance ministry has said. Taxes on wine has been raised to 898 rupees a proof litre from 838 rupees, molasses, palmyra, coconut and processed arrack to 1,043 rupee per litre from 983 and domestically made foreign liquor types to 1,183 rupees from 1,123 rupees.

Excise tax on malt liquor of less than 5.0 percent absolute strength has been raised to 100 rupees per bulk litre from 90 and malt liquor of absolute strength above 5.0 percent to 116 rupees from 106 rupees.

In Sri Lanka taxes are raised by midnight gazette literally while citizens are sleeping and informed to citizens the following day.

The finance ministry said the taxes came to effect from October 06.

Frequent taxes imposed on the people by the ruling class by gazette without discussion in parliament violates a basic principle of ‘taxation by consent’ that exists in free countries that backs to the ‘Magna Carta’ in Britain that led to the gradual restraint of the sovereign.

Administrations led by all section of Sri Lanka’s ruling political elit