KOCHI: It would be akin to India’s bellwether index, the BSE Sensex, crossing the 50,000-point peak. Not sure if this is in the realm of possibility by March 31, 2018, but the sale of Kerala lottery tickets is tipped to fetch the state government a whopping Rs 10,000 crore in the current fiscal. The sales of state lottery tickets had touched an all-time high of Rs 7,395 crore in 2016-17.According to information available with Express, the Kerala State Lotteries Department (KSLD) has decided to print an additional four lakh tickets a day, with effect from November 1, taking the total number of tickets printed to 96 lakh.
This would mean the sale of lottery tickets will fetch the state government additional revenue of Rs 36 crore a month or Rs 432 crore annually.
Speaking to Express, K D Appachan, Deputy Director (Sales), KSLD, said, “It has been only a month since the Lotteries Department took up the number to 92 lakh tickets from around 85 lakh tickets it was printing over the past many months. This comes after a rough patch the sales went through immediately after demonetization when the sales fell to an unprecedented low of 60 lakh tickets.”
Appachan expressed confidence. “In the first six months of this fiscal we have already crossed last year’s total revenue. At the current going rate, we are confident of crossing Rs 10,000 crore figure by March 31,” he said.If everything goes as planned, Rs 180 crore would accrue in the remaining five months of the fiscal through the additional four lakh tickets a month.
Venkatesapathy S, Director, KSLD, said, things were moving in the right direction. “In principle, we have decided to increase the printing of tickets as a part of our sales strategy,” he said. “With the department reducing the ticket price from Rs 50 to Rs 30 recently, morepeople started buying the tickets, thus raising the demand. Even after distributing 92 lakh tickets in 12 series over the past 30 days, it was found to be inadequate to meet the demand from the public. The agents have been demanding an increase in the number given to them. The print order for 96 lakh tickets a day has already been placed with Kerala Books and Publications Society (KBPS),” he said.
Tomin J Thachankary, Managing Director, KBPS, confirmed this decision. “From November 1 we will start printing these additional tickets. At present we have only one machine for printing the entire lot but within months, we will purchase a modern machine with advanced technology for this job,” he said.