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Indonesia mulls expanding alcohol restrictions

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A worker checks the quality of beer at a PT Multi Bintang Indonesia factory in Jakarta April 17.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- A call in Indonesia's parliament for a blanket ban on alcohol sales in the country has alarmed some of the world's biggest beverage companies and highlighted growing conservatism among some Islamic lawmakers. The latest push against alcohol consumption follows a recent ban on beer sales in convenience stores and has seen calls by politicians for more alcohol restrictions.

     A new law came into effect on April 16 barring Indonesia's 55,000 convenience stores, minimarts and small retailers from selling drinks containing alcohol. The move extends an earlier ban on drinks containing more than 5% alcohol to include all alcoholic beverages, such as low-alcohol beer and shandy, although sales are still allowed in supermarkets and restaurants.

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