Indonesia booze ban to impair tourism

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Crushing of alcohol bottles in Jakarta

Producers of alcoholic drinks in Indonesia could face penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and 10 billion rupiah ($1.03 million) in fines if a new ban on alcoholic drinks becomes part of the country’s national legislation programme for 2013. The draft law also entails $520,000 and five years in prison for distributers of alcoholic beverages of any kind  and two years’ imprisonment and a $20,800 fine for those who consume alcohol.

The bill has been drafted by the Islamic-based United Development Party, a member of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s governing coalition and has already been submitted to the national parliament to include it in the 2013 legislation. The ban would be applied nationwide if the bill is being signed into law.

At present, alcohol is easily available in Indonesia in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as in convenience stores. A ban would primarily affect importers of alcoholic drinks and large domestic breweries such as Multi Bintang (owned by Asia Pacific Breweries and Heineken), with its popular Bintang and Batavia Lager brands and import brand Guiness, and Delta Djakarta, producer of Anker Beer and importer of Carlsberg and San Miguel.

Other companies which might to be forced to shut down if the ban comes into effect would be Bali Hai Brewery in West Java, Bali’s Albens Cider Factory, Storm Brewing and Lovina Beach Brewery, San Miguel’s PT Delta brewery in Jakarta as well as the many producers of arrack (a liquor distilled from sugarcane or coconut milk), among them long-standing Dutch-Indonesian distillery Batavia Arrack van Oosten in Java.

Tourism companies and hotel operators in popular holiday spots such as Bali and Batam Island have already expressed concern that a ban on alcoholic drinks would have extremely negative effects on the local economy. In regions like Bali, the economy relies heavily on tourism, which includes a heaving, alcohol-fuelled night life. A ban would devastate the region, observers say.

Unknown to many, Indonesia with its 240-million population is the sixth largest importer of alcohol in the world by volume, just behind Thailand. Brewers Multi Bintang Indonesia and Delta Djakarta are the sole alcohol producers on the stock exchange and, together with a number of small brewers and other liquor producers, cannot meet domestic demand. Reportedly, 75 per cent of the booze business in Indonesia is illegal or semi-legal, operated by trade companies often owned by the military.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Crushing of alcohol bottles in Jakarta

Producers of alcoholic drinks in Indonesia could face penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and 10 billion rupiah ($1.03 million) in fines if a new ban on alcoholic drinks becomes part of the country’s national legislation programme for 2013. The draft law also entails $520,000 and five years in prison for distributers of alcoholic beverages of any kind  and two years’ imprisonment and a $20,800 fine for those who consume alcohol.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Crushing of alcohol bottles in Jakarta

Producers of alcoholic drinks in Indonesia could face penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and 10 billion rupiah ($1.03 million) in fines if a new ban on alcoholic drinks becomes part of the country’s national legislation programme for 2013. The draft law also entails $520,000 and five years in prison for distributers of alcoholic beverages of any kind  and two years’ imprisonment and a $20,800 fine for those who consume alcohol.

The bill has been drafted by the Islamic-based United Development Party, a member of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s governing coalition and has already been submitted to the national parliament to include it in the 2013 legislation. The ban would be applied nationwide if the bill is being signed into law.

At present, alcohol is easily available in Indonesia in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as in convenience stores. A ban would primarily affect importers of alcoholic drinks and large domestic breweries such as Multi Bintang (owned by Asia Pacific Breweries and Heineken), with its popular Bintang and Batavia Lager brands and import brand Guiness, and Delta Djakarta, producer of Anker Beer and importer of Carlsberg and San Miguel.

Other companies which might to be forced to shut down if the ban comes into effect would be Bali Hai Brewery in West Java, Bali’s Albens Cider Factory, Storm Brewing and Lovina Beach Brewery, San Miguel’s PT Delta brewery in Jakarta as well as the many producers of arrack (a liquor distilled from sugarcane or coconut milk), among them long-standing Dutch-Indonesian distillery Batavia Arrack van Oosten in Java.

Tourism companies and hotel operators in popular holiday spots such as Bali and Batam Island have already expressed concern that a ban on alcoholic drinks would have extremely negative effects on the local economy. In regions like Bali, the economy relies heavily on tourism, which includes a heaving, alcohol-fuelled night life. A ban would devastate the region, observers say.

Unknown to many, Indonesia with its 240-million population is the sixth largest importer of alcohol in the world by volume, just behind Thailand. Brewers Multi Bintang Indonesia and Delta Djakarta are the sole alcohol producers on the stock exchange and, together with a number of small brewers and other liquor producers, cannot meet domestic demand. Reportedly, 75 per cent of the booze business in Indonesia is illegal or semi-legal, operated by trade companies often owned by the military.

 

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