Meghalaya cabinet
File photo of Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma and other ministers at a cabinet meeting in Shillong.

The Meghalaya cabinet on Monday approved the state lottery rules for conducting lottery in the state which will help the state government to generate revenue.

Home minister James K Sangma told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the Meghalaya lotteries rules 2019 has been approved which will pave the way for running the state lottery.

“Both paper and online lottery would be introduced,” he said.

Sangma, however, said that the taxation department will work out on the process of operating the lottery as tender will be floated.

Meghalaya has not been able to revive the state-run lottery after an online lottery firm that allegedly failed to pay crores of rupees to the state government was stopped.

The Meghalaya government had introduced online lottery in 2001 and signed an agreement with a firm, MS Associates, to run the lottery with a guaranteed Rs 3 crore for the exchequer in the first year.

The firm reportedly belonged to former Tezpur Congress MP M.K. Subba.

The state government amended the agreement in 2002, owing to opposition from various quarters, where the firm had to pay not less than Rs 12 crore a year.

The firm could not conduct less than 4,000 draws a year.

However, in 2005, the firm stopped operating the online lottery and did not pay dues.

Despite several attempts, the firm is yet to pay the amount.

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General few years ago revealed that during the four years of operation from 2002 to 2005, the distributor was liable to pay Rs 54.08 crore according to the terms of the agreement.

But the company had paid only Rs 19 crore, leaving outstanding dues of Rs 35.08 crore, the report said.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet has also given its approval to the Meghalaya Lokayukta rules, 2019, Meghalaya state direct selling guidelines, 2019, amendment of the Meghalaya GST Act, revision of fares of commercial vehicles, revision of rent for staying and rules for occupying Meghalaya houses in the country.

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