SJB MP questions Govt’s priorities amid pandemic
By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake
Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Buddhika Pathirana yesterday (8) alleged in Parliament that the Government is planning to issue liquor production licences while neglecting priorities such as implementing a proper vaccination drive.
Speaking in Parliament, Pathirana said, “State Minister of Finance recently said that permission will be given for supermarkets to sell liquor to generate income. But we spend millions on treatments for those who fall ill due to liquor and tobacco.
How can we generate an income like this?” he queried. “A report was published on a website recently that a company named ‘Royal Sake’ which uses corn to manufacture ‘sake’ will be granted licence to manufacture liquor. There are also reports that five liquor manufacturing licences are to be issued to companies.
Tax relief will be given to the aforementioned ‘Royal Sake’ company. Has the Finance Ministry understood their priorities? How do you expect to generate an income in this manner?” Pathirana further highlighted public’s grievances. “Fisheries community cannot sell fish due to the situation following the X-Press Pearl disaster. People are suffering from floods.
Saloons have been closed for months. Children and teachers are suffering due to online education system. There are so many problems like these in this country for the Government to solve. But they are going to sell liquor without paying attention to any of them. This is not fair,” Pathirana said.