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Rs.40mn fine imposed on liquor company with fake stickers!

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The Excise Department informed the Parliament’s Committee on Ways and Means that more than 44,000 bottles of liquor with fake stickers were seized during the inspection of 52 liquor bottle manufacturing sites.

The Excise Department said that the fine collected from one company for the liquor bottles with fake stickers was nearly Rs.40 million.

This information was revealed at the hearing of the Committee on Ways and Means yesterday which was held under the chairmanship of MP Patali Champika Ranawaka. A group of officials including Excise Commissioner General Saman Jayasinghe were present at the meeting.

Due to the use of fake stickers, the tax revenue that has been lost to the country so far is Rs.2,900 from each bottle of liquor. The recent raids were conducted by the Excise Department following the recommendations given by the committee on August 22, 2023.

MP Ranawaka recommended to the Excise Department that if these fake sticker smuggle continues, the licenses of the alcohol manufacturing companies should be revoked according to Section 27 of the Excise Act and to complain to the Criminal Investigation Department.

An app

The Committee recommended to the Excise Department to introduce a mobile app based on QR technology that will allow the people to identify the standard of the liquor bottles.

Accordingly, it was decided that an IT application containing the following components should be introduced before the end of this year.

* Ability to automatically calculate tax immediately after completion of production process.
* Ability to renew licenses online.
* Automatic cancellation of licenses in case of tax default.
* Being able to interact with other institutions and the facility to use the National Identity Card number as the identification number.

License to be revoked if taxes not paid

Furthermore, the committee also instructed to cancel the licenses in accordance with Section 27 of the Excise Ordinance Act by October 30, if the manufacturing factories failed to pay the tax dues as per the Rs.6 billion arrears payment plan.

In addition to these recommendations, the Committee on Ways and Means gave recommendations to introduce a system that can monitor all 38 toddy factories, a common identification method for all liquor bottles that can easily identify fake liquor bottles and to set up a system where the Commissioner General of Excise can supervise all 23 liquor manufacturing factories.

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Policeman shoots himself dead

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A police sergeant shot himself near the Kotawila Court complex, using his service firearm.

The deceased is a 52-year-old sergeant attached to the Kotawila Police Station.He had killed himself at the police post of the Kotawila Court Complex after returning to work from a prolonged sick leave.

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Political parties to be briefed on Regulation of Election Expenditure Act

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The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has decided to brief all political parties on the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act.

Chairman of the Commission – R. M. A. L. Ratnayake explained that the discussion will be held today (Feb. 27) and on March 06 as the upcoming elections will be the first to be held since the Act was passed.

According to the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act, all expenses incurred for the purpose of elections and campaigns must be limited, he noted.

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This week’s Cabinet decisions

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A number of decisions have been taken at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (Feb.26).

The decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers are as follows:

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