Excise Commissioner General G.G.M.V. Hapuarachchi in response to last week’s Sunday Times news item headlined ‘2800 liquor licences last year’ has sent the following response.
“This has reference to the news item that appeared on the front-page of the “Sunday Times” published on 22nd August 2010. It says the Excise Department has issued more than 2800 liquor licences last year.
“This is totally incorrect. Liquor licences are renewed every year and the total number of liquor licenses operated in 2009 was 2820. Of this number only 40 new licences have been issued during the year 2009. According to the present government policy, new Excise licences are issued only to Tourist Board approved hotels.
Reporter’s note:The Commissioner General’s 2009 Administrative report which was presented to parliament recently specifically states that the number of country and foreign liquor licences issued for the financial year 2009 is 2820. It also goes to give a breakdown of the issued licences per district with Colombo getting 586, Gampaha 394 and Kandy 194.
It states the number of spirit distilleries and manufacturing licences operated in the financial year 2009 as 110.
So the Commissioner of Excise needs to first scrutinize his own report that was submitted to Parliament and correct it if what it states is wrong.