Vladimir Putin orders alcohol tax review

23rd December, 2016 by Amy Hopkins

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered a crackdown on ‘surrogate’ vodka and set in motion tax changes after more than 60 people in Siberia died from drinking contaminated bath oil.

vladimir-putin

Vladimir Putin has ordered a crackdown in alcohol substitutes in Russia

Earlier this week, a state of emergency was declared in the Siberian city of Irkutsk after the 62 people were reported dead. They are thought to have consumed a counterfeit batch of Boyaryshnik – a bath tincture often used as a substitute to alcoholic beverages in deprived areas of Russia.

Now, Putin has issued a statement claiming that he has “approved a list of instructions on state regulation of production and sale of alcohol-containing products”.

Cabinet has been instructed to draft and make amendments to Russian Federation legislation, providing “tougher regulations” on the production and sale of alcohol-containing products such as cosmetics, perfumes and household chemicals.

Medicine retailers will also be subject to strict monitoring, while alcohol-containing products sold in Russia will be forced to carry compulsory labelling.

“Tougher penalties” for those who produce and sell illegal alcohol-containing products will also be enforced.

Furthermore, Putin has ordered Cabinet to draft and present proposals to “change current excise rates on alcohol and alcohol-containing products”, in order to “reduce demand for surrogate alcohol”.

Russia has implemented a series of tax hikes in recent years as part of the government’s bid to tackle excessive drinking.

A study released in 2014 showed that the number of Russian men dying from alcohol consumption was “excessively high”, despite hardened measures. Researchers linked consumption data to figures showing that 25% of Russian men will due before the age of 55.

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