Kyrgyzstan produced 6.326 million liters of vodka products and 3.405 million liters of pure alcohol in the first quarter of 2003, respectively 34% and 42.6% more than in the same period last year, the chief government regulator of alcohol production, storage and sales told Interfax.
This was the first time in several years that the production target for vodka products was met in full, Ulanbek Baiyzbekov said. He attributed the growth to lower excises, which brought down prices for pure alcohol and vodka products, as well as tougher action by his department to fight counterfeit and illegal alcohol production.
Baiyzbekov said tax revenues from the alcohol industry were expected to jump more than 50% this year to 790 million soms, from 505 million soms in 2002. In order to meet these targets, it will be necessary to reduce and eventually eliminate counterfeiting and illegal production of alcoholic beverages, he said.
Interfax, April 23, 2003