Lottery business could be revived, Lyonchhen

However, PM said investigations into the lottery scam needs to be closed first

The PDP government will resume the lottery business as committed, Lyonchhen said at the ‘Meet the Press’ session yesterday evening.

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said, “I need to point out the fact that Bhutanese lottery selling in India was and is legal, in whichever of the 12 states in India that allowed sale of lottery. There are two issues, one is to restart the business and the second is the ongoing investigation. As far as our government is concerned, we would like to bring a closure to any investigations.”

Lyonchhen said that the other important part of lottery business is there is still an agreement with Government of India (GOI) that allows Bhutan to sell lottery in India. “While we are committed to bring closure to any investigation that is still open, we will be reaching out to the Government of India and to the respective states to restart the lottery business,” he said.

Lyonchhen also highlighted that the lottery operation began in 1977 and it is in accordance with the protocol to the agreement of the Trade, Commerce and Transits signed between Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) and Government of India on July 28, 2006. Lyonchhen added that they are consistent with certain laws, rules and regulation with India.

Finance Minister Namgay Dorji said that the entire country is just waiting for the government to talk on this issue. “After formation of the government, we have been busy with preparing the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) and budget allocation. None the less, we have already committed that we are going to start the lottery business, but we need to find out as to why and where this business has gone wrong because I am sure that the previous government had their own reason for stopping this business,” Lyonpo said.

Lyonpo said that the first task would be to find out where things had gone wrong, second how we can rectify and the third would be the recommendation provide to us how to go about it.

“As of now I don’t have a concert answer on it,” he concluded.

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