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Licence for toddy tapping

The Excise Ordinance is to be amended to reintroduce the licensing system for the tapping of Kithul, Palmyrah and Coconut trees for toddy.

In 2011 and 2013, Section 15 of the Excise Ordinance was amended to exempt Kithul, Palmyrah and Coconut from having to obtain a license to tap for toddy or draw toddy from the trees mentioned above.

A Cabinet paper submitted by Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera this week however, pointed out that these exemptions have simply led to greater difficulties faced by the Department of Excise and they have found it difficult to monitor the volume of liquor produced from toddy and in the collection of excise duty as they could not monitor the quantities of toddy received by distilleries, toddy taverns, etc…

He thus asked that Cabinet approve the proposal to bring back the tapping and drawing of toddy from Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah trees into the licensing system. Cabinet thereby granted approval to establish “a regulatory methodology to monitor the quantities of toddy received to distilleries, toddy taverns, bottled toddy manufacturers and vinegar manufacturers and preserve tax revenue and control unlawful toddy production by calculating the toddy harvest drawn from a tree as per Excise Regulations”.

The new amendments are to be published in a gazette and presented to Parliament soon.