The Mahinda Rajapakse government, despite introducing ‘Mathata Thitha’ (Halt to all intoxicants) concept, has spread cigarettes and liquor throughout the island and increased excise tax for the five months from January to May 2011 by Rs.12650 million.
The income from excise duty for liquor during the same period in 2010 was Rs.14257 million. It has increased to Rs.22725 in 2011 and the tax income for cigarettes and tobacco has increased from Rs.15663 to Rs. 19845 during the same period. This is an increase of 59.4% for liquor and 26.7% for cigarettes and tobacco.
Accordingly, the increase in taxes in 2011 when compared to the relevant 5 months of the previous year is 86.1%. This indicates that Rajapakse government’s ‘Mathata Thitha’ is a pseudo opposition but allows propagation of liquor and cigarettes in the country to earn a large amount of money in taxes.