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Bamboozling Booze in Bali

Bali Struggles to Redraft Laws on Selling Alcohol as 70% of all Booze in Circulation Believed to be Illegal

(4/15/2012) Radar Bali reports that 70% of the alcoholic beverages sold on the island are illegal. The value of illegal liquor sold on the island is estimated to account to sales of Rp. 1 billion per day or Rp. 360 billion (US$40 million) per year.

These figures were tabled following a Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) session on April 10, 2012. Nyoman Wirya of the Glokar faction of the House said the amount legally circulating alcohol contributing to the tax base was only 30% of the total alcohol sold, describing the current distribution of alcohol in Bali as out of control and beyond the capability of officials to control.

To address this problem, the DPRD-Bali is discussing new regulations for the control of alcohol, including ways to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed by the general public but still sufficient to meet the demands of the tourism industry.

Legislators also profess that they are seeking away to accommodate the “home brewing” industry that will allow traditional manufacture of alcohol as a home industry to flourish in a regulated atmosphere.

Wirya said the informal economy sector producing “home brew” was operating below the screen creating a sector of the economy difficult to regulate and ripe for illegal fees levied by government officials. Wirya says licenses to produce alcohol should be simplified and then operated under tight supervision.