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GMOA objects to possible tax reduction on liquor

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has sent a letter to the President objecting the proposed tax reduction on liquor to be implemented through the 2018 Budget, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said.

Addressing a press conference held at the GMOA Headquarters in Colombo, yesterday, he said the Finance Minister has proposed a tax reduction on liquor through the 2018 Budget proposals. He had stated that the income from tobacco and alcohol will be used to upgrade the health sector. This is a complete violation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

According to Dr. Aluthge, the Health Ministry launched the National Policy on Alcohol in 2006 and the facts included in it under Sector 6.2 and 6.3 are aimed at minimizing the use of alcohol in the country. This budget proposal severely destroys the country’s health and reputation. It completely violates the State policy on alcohol.

Some officials who included this budget proposal had stated that the tax reduction was aimed at promoting tourism but there is no scientific proof to prove that tourists are coming to Sri Lanka to consume alcohol. They visit our country to enjoy the natural beauty, our traditional food and beverages and to enjoy our valuable cultural heritage, he added.