THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The demonetisation drive has put the common man in deep peril. Now, it has cut across the path of the fortune seekers too. Huge drop in the sale of Kerala lotteries post the demonetisation has forced the state government to cancel eight daily lotteries and postpone the draw of 10 others.
The estimated loss due to cancellation is around Rs 202 crore. The loss in turnover owing to the sales drop is yet to be calculated but it would be around Rs 79 crore until Saturday, officials said.
The daily lotteries scheduled from November 20 to 26 have been cancelled. The average turnover of a daily lottery is around Rs 25 crore. As the tickets have already
been printed another Rs 2.35 crore, the printing cost, has to be forgone. The sales turnover on Wednesday was Rs 1 crore against the daily average of Rs 25 crore. On other days until Saturday it was Rs 6-7 crore.
Some agents’ associations had demanded the government to take urgent measures, including postponement and cancellation of draws. The tickets are released 10-14 days ahead of the draw.
Despite the drop in sales, the government could not cancel the lotteries until November 19 as the tickets were already released to the agents. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac’s office said the decision was aimed to provide all possible help to agents and sellers, mostly poor and physically challenged.
The number of agents registered with the department is 30,000 but only 10,000 are active. There are no official figures on the number of sellers but the department estimates it between 1.5-2 lakh.