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August 14, 2020

Illegal wine imports causing revenue loss: liquor association

Myanmar Liquor Association (MLA) holds a press conference in Yangon.  Photo: Myint Maung
Myanmar Liquor Association (MLA) holds a press conference in Yangon.  Photo: Myint Maung

The government is losing revenue on account of illegal wine imports, according to a media conference held by the Myanmar Liquor Association (MLA).
“We’ve found that we cannot eliminate the illegal market in some places yet. So, we need to resolve the issue of illegal wine imports. You may also be well aware that traders are illegally importing wine through the border gates without paying any taxes whatsoever. Whether it is in the case of import or export, entrepreneurs need to conduct their businesses under the same policy so that there will prevail fairness on the part of producers who are paying taxes,” said U Win Thaw, joint secretary of the MLA.
“The MLA is ready for fair competition in terms of transparency. We also have complete confidence in our products. The government generally imposes tax amounting to only about one-fifth of the real income. Some of the products do not require payment of any taxes at all. We’ve found that the government is losing revenue daily because of the illegal market,” he added.
The tax is being raised year after year on locally produced liquor. The government earned over K200 billion from tax on liquor in the 2018-2019 financial year.
According to official statistics on income tax for the year 2019, the Myanmar Liquor Association was among the top 10 taxpayers in Myanmar. —Myint Maung (Translated by Hay Mar)

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