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MNF fears recurrence of lottery scam

By Correspondent

AIZAWL, June 25 - Opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) has accused the Congress Government of intending to commit the same blunders in the State Lotteries it had committed last year.

According to MNF�s vigilance committee, the State Government has floated fresh tenders inviting lottery agents on May 30, 2018, a day after the term of the existing four agents expired on May 29.

�Nearly a month after the expiry of their term, the four agents are still operating the State Lotteries,� MNF vigilance committee chairman L Thangmawia alleged in a press conference today.

Thangmawia said the Mizoram Government set a new criterion in its tender that demands that a bidder must be a lottery distributor in any Indian State for at least 12 months in the last 36 months, counting from the date of the issuance of tender.

�This new criterion has been obviously made in favour of the existing four agents. This closes the door for other interested bidders and in turn new revenue streams for the State,� he said.

Looking into the tender floated, the Mizoram Govt is treading on the same path where it lost Rs 11,000-plus crore in lotteries last year, which was revealed by the CAG report, Thangmawia said.

The MNF demanded the Congress Government to float fresh tenders with a criteria that at least 20 per cent from their sales go to the State�s exchequer.

It may be recalled that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report tabled in the State Assembly on December last detected a host of anomalies in the way the Mizoram Government handled the State Lotteries that eventually resulted in a staggering loss of Rs 11,808.77 crore during 2012-13 to 2014-15 fiscal due to non-deposit of Minimum Guaranteed Revenue (MGR) and Administrative Expenses by four lottery distributors.

Even though MNF, as well as anti-corruption watchdog PRISM, have strongly demanded a CBI probe into the irregularities in the State Lotteries, no inquiry whatsoever has been iniatiated.

�This (failure to initiate inquiry) strongly indicates that the Chief Minister and his Ministers were involved in the scam,� L Thangmawia also alleged.

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