Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has stated that consuming beer is preferable to consuming sweetened soft drinks.
He was responding to a remark made by JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti during his speech in the second reading stage debate on Budget 2018. He charged that the Budget proposals were attempting to popularize beer by imposing tax on each gram of sugar, but not on beer.
Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated that in many countries, 80% of people drink beer. Hard liquor consumers account for only a small percentage of people. But, in our country it is the other way around. Around 84 percent of Sri Lankans who consumed alcohol drank hard liquor. I do not see anything wrong with a person drinking beer. We have not imposed any tax on sugar. The tax is on the sugar content of the sweetened drinks.