MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has written a letter to three north-eastern states for recovery of pending lottery tax worth nearly Rs 933 crore.
The government has said it will explore legal remedies if Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Mizoram fail to pay the dues.
The letter from the Maharashtra finance department, dated January 3, has been addressed to the chief secretaries of the three states.
Arunachal Pradesh owes Rs 710.96 crore, Sikkim Rs 220.04 crore and Mizoram Rs 1.7 crore (total Rs 932.7 crore) to the Maharashtra government, according to the letter.
The letter said as per provisions of the Maharashtra Tax on Lotteries Act 2006, liability of payment of tax lies with the promoter.
"Promoter is defined as government of any state or Union Territory or any country organising, conducting or promoting a lottery (in Maharashtra) and includes any person appointed as first importer for making lottery tickets in the state of Maharashtra by such government or country," it said.
The promoter is liable to pay the lottery tax and the state government which is organising the lottery comes within the scope of definition of "promoter", it said.
"Hence, assessment order and demand notice have been sent to the respective states," an official in the finance department said.
If the tax is not paid at the earliest, the Maharashtra government will have no option but to take recourse to legal remedies, he said.
The official said the three states have informed Maharashtra that they had deputed private companies to conduct the lottery.
But Maharashtra is not a party to the agreement made by the three governments with their marketing agents to operate and market their state lottery tickets, he said.
"The Maharashtra government did not give any consent to the agreements made by the three states with their marketing agents.
"Hence, the terms and conditions of their agreements are not binding on the Maharashtra government," the official said.