Drug Fight Malawi, an organisation which is pushing for tough legislation on beer, says it is happy with the 250 percent excise tax slapped on alcohol in sachets and plastic bottles.
Government announced the tax hike in the 2012/13 national budget statement Finance Minister Ken Lipenga delivered in Parliament on Friday.
Drug Fight Malawi executive director Nelson Zakeyu said the increase in taxes on beer â€œis one of the best strategies aimed at reducing alcohol-related harm as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
â€œWhat this also means is that government will be collecting more revenue from the tax increase that would be directed towards purchase of hospital drugs,â€ he said.
Zakeyu also called for a total ban on alcohol sachets.
â€œWe are urging the government to announce a total ban of sachet liquor in Malawi. Zambia did it early this year, why not us? Our youths need to be protected from use of liquor sachets. We hope that mandate rests in the hands of government and not commercial industries,â€
Some quarters in Malawi, including Drug Fight Malawi, argue that liquor in sachets is cheaper and easy to sell making it too easy to be accessed by minors and, therefore, dangerous.