THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has rejected a letter from the Mizoram Government on the sale of its lotteries in the state. The state will also write to the Centre for banning Mizoram Lotteries citing gross violations of the Lotteries Regulation Act.
The state received the official letter on Saturday, a day after advertisements of the lottery appeared in some newspapers. Addressing mediapersons here on Saturday, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the letter talked only about distribution arrangements, whereas it should have had details of all aspects including sales, printing etc.“Mizoram is also obliged to provide other details as requested by the state. Agents brought crores of tickets to the state without completing the formalities. This is illegal and the police have arrested some persons in Palakkad for possessing the tickets,” Isaac said.
The Lotteries Department has warned of sacking its agents who sell other-state lotteries. Special preferences will be given to the media which reject advertisements of other-state lotteries. Isaac said the state would write to the Centre to ban Mizoram lottery. The letter included a copy of the agreement between Mizoram Government and Teesta Distributors on the basis of ‘minimum guaranteed revenue.’
This is against the Lotteries Regulation Act and the CAG had earlier criticised the Mizoram Lotteries Department for entering into such an agreement.
The CAG’s performance audit of Mizoram State Lotteries between 2010-11 and 2014-15 accused the latter of violating Lotteries Regulation rules by entering into an agreement with four distributors to conduct lotteries (both paper and online) on realisation of minimum guaranteed Revenue (MGR) per draw instead of ensuring the whole sales proceeds calculated on the face value of tickets were deposited in the consolidated fund of the state.
The printers engaged were not selected through tendering process. No agreement was signed between the government and printers. Also details like address, contact number and website address of the Lotteries Department were not available on the tickets.
‘State govt keen to pave way for other-state lottery mafia’
T’Puram: Expressing serious doubts on the sincerity of the government in its claim of keeping other-state lotteries at bay, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said a path is being cut concertedly for lottery king Santiago Martin under the cover of Goods and Services Tax (GST) while an impression opposite is being given to the public the entry of the lottery mafia would be stalled. “That advertisements of other-state lotteries have begun to appear in the CPM mouthpiece itself speaks volumes on the pudding in the making,” he said. “The same thing happened during the tenure of the former LDF Government also, with the live telecast of other-state raffles in the CPM-controlled TV channel,” Chennithala said.
Mizoram lottery tickets worth Rs 5 crore seized
Palakkad: The Cusaba police seized Mizoram lottery tickets worth Rs 5 crore from a godown at Kurudikaad near Kanjikode here on Saturday. A team led by CI Hariprasad made the seizures. The police also took four persons into custody. The lottery tickets were stacked in 1,000 sacks on top floor of the building. The police have also seized a many documents from the godown. There will be more arrests, if needed, after verifying the documents, the police said.