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State revenue collection: One of 5 banned distillers pays dues

State revenue collection: One of 5 banned distillers pays dues

06 Nov 2023 | BY Sahan Tennekoon

  • Licence extended till 31 December
  • Strict weekly payment criteria to be followed

 The Excise Department of Sri Lanka yesterday told The Daily Morning that only one company out of the five which had their licences revoked has made the instalment payments of due taxes, according to the payment schedules given by the Department.

The Department last week announced that five liquor manufacturing companies’ licences were suspended due to their failure to pay due taxes.  Accordingly, the licences of Synergy Distilleries Ltd., Finnland Distilleries Corporation Ltd., Wayamba Distilleries, W.M. Mendis & Co. Ltd., and Randenigala Distilleries Lanka Ltd. have been suspended.

It is reliably learnt that following the payment of the due instalments, one company – Finnland Distilleries Corporation Ltd. – has been granted an extension to their licence till 31 December. The licence had been renewed last Saturday (4).  

Speaking to The Daily Morning yesterday (5), Commissioner of Excise (Law Enforcement) and Spokesperson Kapila Kumarasinghe said that those five companies have been advised by the Excise Department to make and submit payment schedules to the Department and to reach future agreements according to those schedules. He further stated that even though the companies make the payments according to the schedule, they are subjected to a weekly point of closure where their licence would be cancelled if they do not make the weekly payment as per the schedules.

Kumarasinghe said that two companies had reached agreements with the Department thus far regarding the payment schedules, and one of these had made a payment and renewed the licence. He would not comment on the names of the companies.

Excise Commissioner General Saman Jayasinghe, issuing a press release after cancelling the licences of those companies, said that the annual licences for these companies – which had long overdue arrears – expired on 31 October and were not renewed. In addition, the production and distribution of their alcohol products have also been prohibited.

“Some companies owed unpaid taxes for an extended period and we gave them a deadline to settle the dues. Only a few companies managed to meet this deadline, while one company has obtained a 40-day stay order against the decision,” he said.

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