Former finance minister in the Left Front regime Asim Dasgupta today criticised the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal for allegedly giving legal status to lottery business by imposing taxes and charges.
"Imposing any charge or tax on lottery, including online lottery, is nothing but giving legal status to them," Dasgupta told reporters here, countering the claim by the ruling combine that the previous government had allowed lottery companies to thrive by exempting charges and taxes.
"We had decided to close down online lottery in 2004-05. However, a case is still pending with the Supreme Court on this. You can impose any tax only when it is a legal service," Dasgupta explained.
In July, the present government had amended the lottery law to make it mandatory for organisers to pay Rs one lakh for each draw and rupees five lakh for bumper draws.
Dasgupta took credit for all the modernisation of the tax system.
"Tax reforms including online service steps were taken by the Left Front government 18 months back," he said.