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Toddy duty slashed as operating hours are extended

 Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed to slash the duty on bottled toddy by half while extending the opening hours of toddy taverns.

The duty on bottled toddy that stood at Rs 50 a litre will be reduced to Rs 25 from Friday (08), according to a written directive issued by Rajapaksa, who is also finance minister.

The Prime Minister has also allowed extending the opening duration of toddy taverns by two hours with effect from Friday, News First reported.

Taverns can now remain open from 10 am to 2 pm, and 5 pm to 9 pm. The previous times were from 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm.

Premier Rajapaksa has also increased the amount of toddy permitted to be sold to a person, from 1.5 to three litres, amending a law dating back to 1985.

Accordingly, a pass would be required when transporting more than three litres of toddy in the country.

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