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Driven to Drink

Bali Asks for Increase in Alcohol Supply.

(7/19/2004) The Association of Liquor Dealers (APMB) has asked the Governor to increase the current quotas for the import of alcoholic beverages to the island in order to meet anticipated increases in demand during the last two quarters of 2004. The Chairman of the APMB, Mr. Anom Masta, said the increase in official quotas is needed to supply the market during the peak November-December period and to thwart the amount of illegal beverages circulating in the marketplace.

All alcoholic beverages legally distributed and sold in Bali is required to bear a tax stamp issued by the Provincial Government. The stamps range in value from US$ 0.02 for a bottle of beer to US$ 0.08 for a bottle of spirits.

During the current fiscal year the Governor of Bali has authorized the issuance of stamps sufficient to cover 22 million bottles of alcoholic beverage equivalent in tax revenues to Rp. 2.9 billion (approximately US$ 326,000).

According to Mr. Masta, an estimated 30-40% of the alcohol circulating in Bali does not bear the required excise stamp and is subject to confiscation by a special team comprised of members of the Police, APMB, and Regional Government.

Liquor sales were reported to have dropped by 70% in the year immediately following the October 2002 bombing as a result of the sudden downturn in foreign visitors.