Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake last week said that since the new government under the Policy of Good governance brought an end to the corruption and nepotism, the government’s monthly revenue from ethanol imports went up by three fold to Rs 9.5 billion by March 2015.
A statement by the Ministry of Finance issued on Thursday states that in the first six months of the year, 54 ethanol licences had been issued by the authorities of which only 38 licences were for the liquor manufacturers and others were issued to various other industries and universities.
“During the past regime due to the nepotism and cronyism corruption was rampant and the henchmen were allowed to import ethanol in an illegal manner depriving the government of its due revenue. As a result the monthly revenue from ethanol imports was mere 3400 million rupees during the last year,” the statement said adding that in the year 2014, the Controller General of Imports and Exports, on the recommendation of Excise Dept had issued 104 ethanol licences to liquor manufacturing companies whereby 15 million liters of ethanol were imported into the country.
Importation of Ethanol into the country is made by liquor manufacturing firms under the supervision of the Excise Department based on its usage for the manufacturing of liquor. Sri Lanka has number of liquor manufacturing firms and their usage of ethanol is constantly being supervised by the officers of the excise dept who are attached to respective firms. Accordingly, issuing of ethanol licences by the Import and Export Controller General on the recommendation of the Commissioner General of Excise Dept is a day to day administrative process and the government or the minister of finance has no direct relevance to it.