The government has already drafted the Tobacco and Alcoholic Products Levy Bill, 2020 which was debated at length in Parliament last week.
Stakeholders have been invited to air their opinions on the Bill which flatly received a backlash from the local business community.
This Bill stipulates that the government intends to use this legislation as an instrument to influence acceptable or normal consumption of tobacco and alcoholic products.
Also, it is expected to increase revenue gained in order to provide for developmental programmes.
Once this Bill is passed into Law, alcoholic drinks are expected to increase by per cent while tobacco products will go up by 30 per cent.
The Chairman of the Lesotho Liquor and Restaurants Owners Association (LLROA) Nkeane Motseki said they were not consulted when the Bill was drafted.
He said the Bill has to be withheld to provide room to address some of the issues they are not too comfortable with.
Mr Motseki said the government has warned them that it intends to collect revenue to the tune of M200 million from the sale of alcohol per annual as soon as the Bill passes into Law.
If implemented, he said the Law will have a negative impact on their businesses after they suffered yet another debilitating blow due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Entrepreneurs trading in alcoholic drinks have been crying foul over their suffering businesses since the start of the first national lockdown.
Among others, they complain that they were unable to pay rentals and employees’ salaries because there was no business.
Now, the government has given them some relaxation that their customers should only buy their drinks and take them away.
Sitting in the bars and restaurants is prohibited.