No approval to produce spirits using rice as raw material

The Finance Ministry said that through the budget 2018, it was proposed to levy excise duty on the raw materials used for the production of Ethanol. “In 2006, the previous Government had given the approval to one liquor manufacturing company to produce spirits using rice as a raw material. But, recently, in addition to rice, the particular company was granted permission to use maize as a raw material,” the Finance Ministry said. The Government says it has not given approval to produce spirits using rice as a raw material, to any distilleries.The Ministry of Finance said that there are 14 distilleries in Sri Lanka and they use palmyrah toddy, coconut toddy, molasses, maize and fruits to produce spirits. Accordingly, by the gazette Extraordinary issued under the Excise Ordinance on the 09th of November 2017, a levy of  Rs.5 to Rs.10 per litre has been imposed on the raw materials used for the production of spirits.The Finance Ministry said that there is no truth in the allegation made by Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardena to the effect that the Government has given approval to use rice as a raw material for the production of alcohol. (Colombo Gazette)