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No new liquor production licenses: Finance Ministry

By Buddhika Samaraweera

 

The Ministry of Finance has denied recent allegations made by Opposition Party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) that the Finance Ministry is preparing to issue five additional liquor production licenses to five leading companies already engaged in the industry.

When contacted by The Morning, Finance Ministry and Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said that there are no plans to issue new liquor production licenses.

“These are mere allegations made by the Opposition; it should be ascertained as to the purpose for which they are making such statements.”

Speaking in Parliament on 8 June, SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana claimed that the Finance Ministry was attempting to issue five new liquor manufacturing licences during the course of this month (June).

Adding that Finance Minister and Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa is also the Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs Minister, Pathirana had queried on what basis the licenses are to be issued.

“The Finance Ministry’s excuse is that they want to increase the Ministry’s revenue, and I have also come to know that Attygalle is to sign these licenses, after which they would be approved,” he further alleged.