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Lottery ticket prices reversed back to Rs. 20 with immediate effect.

Colombo, Jan. 18 -- The lottery ticket prices which was increased from Rs. 20 to Rs. 30 had been reversed back yesterday again to Rs.20 with immediate effect, on the instruction of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Earlier, a budget proposal was made by the Finance Ministry last year, to increase the prices of lottery tickets.

The controversial decision by the Ministry of Finance to hike the price of a lottery ticket by Rs.10 had met with island-wide protests from lottery dealers.

Lottery dealers initially went on strike against the price hike after it came into force on January 2. Though these protests were later called off, a fresh strike was launched this week after negotiations aimed at resolving the matter broke down.

A group of lottery dealers who met President Sirisena informed him that the sale of lotteries has decreased following the price hike.

Announcing yesterday, President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to revoke a 2017 Budget proposal to increase the price of a lottery ticket from Rs. 20 to Rs. 30 at a media briefing held in Colombo, Minister Lakshman Yapa said that he had asked the authorities to provide an estimate of the loss incurred by the National Lotteries Board due to this issue.

State Minister Yapa said the President made this order after discussing with relevant parties and studying all aspects of the issue.

The State Minister revealed that the sale of lottery tickets had brought the government an income of Rs. 27 billion in 2015 and it also provided 28 percent of the total non-tax income of the government.

Currently, there are 300,000 street lottery sellers including disabled persons. Last week, lottery agents threatened to stop selling tickets if the price was increased. They say that, even at the current rate of Rs. 20, they find it difficult to sell tickets.

Minister Yapa yesterday also met with a group of lottery dealers following the press conference and communicated President's decision, ending the dispute.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Asian Tribune.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Date:Jan 18, 2017
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