The government will move the Supreme Court seeking permission to take action against online lotteries in the State, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said.
He was replying to questions in the Assembly on Wednesday. On the basis of a Supreme Court verdict, the government had already conducted 100 raids after securing warrant from the subordinate courts, seized 57 lakh online lottery tickets and recovered Rs.80,000 from various outlets. On the basis of the steps taken so far, the government will move the Supreme Court seeking permission to take more action against online lotteries, Dr. Isaac said.
The State government had included online lotteries in the gaming Act, but the draft of the new rules framed by the Centre had included it in the Lotteries Act. Once the rules come into force, the State will not be able to take action against such lotteries. They will also get permission to hold 28 draws a day between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on all days, he said.
The government was planning to give annual bonus to lottery vendors in association with their welfare fund during the Onam festival. There was no proposal to ban paper lotteries in the State. During 2005-06 the targeted sale of Kerala lottery was Rs.270 crore. This financial year it went up to Rs.630 crore and the target had been set at Rs.1,000 crore for the coming year.
Restructuring of prizes too is being considered. The government had not granted permission to the Arunachal Pradesh government to register its lottery here, he said.
Education Minister M.A. Baby said that there were 3,661 uneconomic schools in the State as per the statistics of 2008-09. This included 1,839 government and 1,822 aided schools. Uneconomic schools are those which had less than 25 students.
Minister for Local Self-government Paloli Mohammed Kutty said there was no paucity of funds in setting up slaughter houses in civic bodies.
Abattoir clusters had been planned in block panchayats to meet the needs of panchayats, he said.