By DALE LUMA
SOUTH Pacific (SP) Brewery Ltd will continue to work with authorities to stop the distribution of illicit alcohol, according to corporate affairs manager John Nilkare.
Nilkare was responding to questions from The National regarding illicit alcohol accounting for about one third of the alcohol market in the country.
“We will continue to maintain dialogue and cooperate with the Government and its agencies to look for ways of addressing this issue,” he said.
“The brewery works with PNG Customs, police and provincial authorities in flagging this issue.
“The Manufacturers Council of PNG is our mouthpiece to highlight the significant impacts of illicit trade on our economy.
“The illicit market accounts for one third of all alcohol consumed in PNG.”
Nilkare previously said illicit alcohol continued to plague the market with little to no punitive measures taken by the government on offenders. “Subsequently the hole in the government coffers keeps growing.
“The Government is aware of the issues at hand and more effort is required to engage with industry stakeholders to show them the path to correcting this cancer.”
The issue of illicit alcohol is expected to rise with the increase in tax excise imposed by the government in the 2020 Budget.
On foreign exchange, Nilkare said its availability continued to be a challenge.
“The lack of FX has resulted in delayed dividend remittances for our overseas shareholders,” he said.
“However, we remain optimistic.”
By DALE LUMA