THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the State Lotteries Department will start live telecast of its draws this year.
He was speaking at the valedictory of the golden jubilee celebrations of state lotteries here on Wednesday. The government is taking all steps for the security of state lotteries, including high security facilities for ticket design and printing, Pinarayi said.
Handwritten lottery and other-state lotteries are two major threats faced by the state lotteries. Police are acting tough on the handwritten lotteries. All efforts are taken to prevent other-state lottery sales in the state, he said.
Pinarayi said the state lotteries started by the EMS government in 1967 had a commendable growth over the five decades. The turnover rose from 20 lakh in 1967-1968 fiscal to `7,395 crore in 2016-17. The profit rose from 14 lakh to 1691 crore.The department has emerged as a major non-tax revenue for the state. The government wants to spend the profit of lotteries for people’s welfare as is evident from the budget announcement to utilise the entire profit for a public healthcare scheme.
Of the 2.5 lakh people who eke out a living from lottery sales, many are poor or people who are unable to pursue normal jobs.
Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, who presided over the function, said the government had plans to change the prize structure of state lotteries by increasing the number of small prizes and reducing big prizes. The government expects to collect Rs 1,000 crore from the state lotteries a year for the proposed healthcare scheme.
Chief Minister’s private secretary M V Jayarajan called for a people’s resistance against other-state lotteries. Lotteries director S Shanawas said the `10,000 crore target for the current fiscal would be a humble start for bigger achievements in future.
Mayor V K Prasanth, Taxes Secretary Minhaj Alam, Kerala State Lottery Agents and Sellers Welfare Fund Board chairman P R Jayaprakash, trade union leaders Subramanya Bharathi, Kovalam D Babu, Mohammed Rafi and Binukumar attended.