Cabinet decides to withdraw Mangala’s gazette on liquor sales

Cabinet has decided to withdraw two gazette notices issued by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on the sale of liquor.

The unanimous decision was reached when cabinet met today, Minister Mahinda Samarasingha said.

President Maithripala Sirisena said this week that he had decided to call for the reversal of the two gazette notices issued by the Finance Ministry on liquor.

Speaking at an election rally in Agalawatte, the President said that the gazette notices on business hours of liquor outlets and one allowing women to be employed at liquor outlets will be reversed.

It was announced last week that the business hours of liquor licensed establishments have been revised.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera issued a special gazette notification under the excise ordinance which revise the business hours of the liquor licensed establishments in the country.

Under the revision, establishments with retail licenses to sell beer, ale, stout and wine were allowed to remain open from 8.00am to 10.00pm.

Tourist Board approved premises selling beer, ale, stout and wine were allowed to be open 11am to 11pm while establishments not approved by the Tourist Board were allowed to be open from 11am to 10pm.

The Finance Ministry also announced last week that the schedule in the Excise Notification no.666 of the Gazette Extraordinary of 1979 had been amended to allow females over 18 years to purchase alcohol legally and also to be employed at licensed premises without prior approval from the Excise Commissioner. (Colombo Gazette)