Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday alleged in the state assembly that the government has lost out on Rs 3,000 crore of revenue from lottery operators in the last three years.
Fadnavis alleged that the lottery tax evasion by three main lottery operators from Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim was in connivance with government officials.
“A complaint was filed with the government and the economic offences wing in January but there has been no response to it. Instead, the state in its budget documents has admitted to the huge loss of revenue because of non-recovery from lotteries,” said Fadnavis, demanding an enquiry into the scam.
The state government levies Rs 50,000 as tax on weekly lottery draws. However, some lottery operators from other states but based in Mumbai show one draw for nine games, thus evading tax for 8 games. Fadnavis said: “Lotteries by three companies have evaded taxes by showing fewer draws but organizing more games per draw. This is with tacit agreement of the state lotteries directorate.”
Finance minister Sunil Tatkare in his budget reply said that his department would examine this matter to find out the extent of tax evasion. The government plans to amend the Lotteries Act or introduce a new scheme to net all the taxes, said finance department officials.
The state had amended the lottery act in 2007, to tax every lottery draw instead of sale of tickets to restrict number of lotteries and increase revenues for the state kitty. Leader of opposition in the state assembly, Eknath Khadse also slammed the government over this scam. He alleged that this was in connivance with senior officials from the state secretariat.