It is my earnest expectation to remove excise revenue from the alcohol and tobacco sales from the national budget by 2020, said President Maithripala Sirisena.

He pointed out the opinion that the budget is totally depends on the excise revenue and the budget cannot be completed without excise income has taken the country to a national catastrophe. “Therefore, I will strengthen the treasury revenue without the excise income, deeming it as a responsibility of the government” he said.

The President made these remarks at the national function for the declaration of National Drugs Eradication Programme and Drugs Eradication Month at the Town Council Stadium in Ja-ela. The program has been implemented according to the concept of the President.

President Sirisena also pointed out it is essential to completely remove politicians from illegal drug trade. “If any politician is currently engaged in illegal drug dealings or if they will do so in the future, I would take every legal action against them, irrespective of their party, color or social level”, the President emphasized.

The assistance of every person is expected to implement the National program to eradicate the drug menace while strengthening the existing laws relating to the prevention of drug smuggling, the President said.

The assistance of the Maha Sangha and the religious leaders is expected for this programme, he said, adding that all the political leaders also will be given responsibilities in this regard. The President further said that all the Public Servant too will be given responsibilities by establishing Drug Prevention Units in all the Ministries, Authorities and Departments.

President Sirisena said that he will expect assistance of NGOs and private sector for these projects. He further said that a programme will be implemented by the Ministry of Education with the support of school children to convey the message of drug prevention to the society.

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