President Maithiripala Sirisena yesterday said he had ordered the reversal of a Finance Ministry decision to extend the business hours of liquor shops and bars and remove restrictions on the employment female workers in places where liquor is manufactured or so as well as the sale of liquor to women.Addressing a UPFA rally at Agalawatte, the President said that the Finance Minister circular would be withdrawn with effect from today.
The President said he was committed to establishing a society which upheld democracy, social justice and morality and he had made many sacrifices to achieve that goal.
He said he had not sought the release of his brother, who had been taken into custody over a road accident.
Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera, on Jan. 10, under the excise Ordinance revoked the ban on selling liquor to women and employing females in places where liquor is manufactured or sold. The Minister on January 11 issued a special gazette notification which revised the business hours of the liquor licensed establishments in the country.
Accordingly, the establishments with retail licenses and Beer, Ale, Stout and Wine License for retail sale were scheduled to be open from 8.00am to 10.00pm.
The business hours of Tourist Board- approved premises with Beer, Ale, Stout and Wine License for consumption were revised as 11am to 11pm while premises without Tourist Board approval were revised to be open from 11am to 10pm.