LNP – Proposed security sticker on liquor bottles from Aug. 15: Excise Chief

The proposed security sticker to be pasted on all locally manufactured liquor bottles, which had been delayed owing to technical reasons, will be commenced from August 15th, the Excise Department said yesterday.

Excise Commissioner General (ECG) M J Gunasiri, when contacted by the Daily Mirror last evening said that all set for this project to commence from 15th of next month with the assistance of an Indian company that prints the stickers, Madras Security Printers (MSP).

The much talked about topic of applying security stickers on all locally manufactured hard liquor, beer and wine bottles as a security measure to prevent adulterated booze from the entering the market has been delayed for over two months as the recent government Covid-19 health guidelines were in place.

Also, numerous revelations made by Opposition MP Buddhika Pathirana in the House about the questionable nature of the Indian company MSP, which had reportedly been blacklisted in a number of countries including the mother country, had lead to a controversy as to why the Ministry of Finance had chosen the particular company for this project.

Responding to these allegations the Excise Chief said that the tender calling for this project had been done in 2019 on a project proposed in 2016 by the previous regime.

Mr. Gunasiri said that the Indian company had however rejected the allegations made on them by sending a letter to the Ministry of Finance and are to commence its operations in Sri Lanka as a BOO project (Build, Own and Operate).

He said already a representative from the MSP is working in the country assisting with the already undergoing project of pasting security stickers on all imported liquor bottles and another team is expected to work on their system to arrive soon.

As part of the new security feature a sticker would be pasted on selected liquor bottles and a digital code will be imprinted on the neck and cap of another set of selected bottles, the ECG said.

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