Lottery questions

During Question Hour yesterday, I asked the finance minister two straightforward questions:

“What action has the Royal Government taken to investigate alleged violations by Bhutan’s lottery agent in India?”

“What action has the Royal Government taken to investigate alleged violations in the manner the lottery agent was appointed and reappointed?”

The finance minister’s reply was a long-winded narrative about the history of Bhutan lottery. And an elaborate recount of how the government selected their lottery agent, and how, later, reduced that agent’s contractual obligations.

But the finance minister did not answer the question: has the government investigated the alleged violations? That would mean that they haven’t. If so, I am surprised.

I’m surprised because the scale of the allegations is huge, even by Indian standards. By now, the government should have summoned their lottery agent and demanded explanations. And they should have conducted a thorough audit of the government’s lottery offices, at home and in India.

I’m also surprised because, left unchecked, the allegations can seriously undermine the government’s policy of “zero tolerance to corruption.”

It’s time to take the matter up with the Anti-Corruption Commission.

 

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Comments

  1. Some people in our country, not necessarily people in this DPT govt, are definitely getting HUGE KICKBACKS and, perhaps they had been enjoying the kickbacks for decades from the scam, otherwise there is no reason NOT TO investigate the scandal.

  2. Bravo! ACC should definitely probe into the matter.

  3. It is time to dissolve, Bhutan Lottery and start over with fresh faces.
    Lottery is like alcohol and cigarettes, it is a very easy sell. Even a monkey could turn lottery business into profits. As I have said before, it is time to run lottery business exclusively for Bhutanese citizens. It is time for Bhutanese to get lucky.
    The current lottery so really flawed. It is named Bhutan lottery , yet all the big prizes are won by Indian Nationals, all the business are going to Indian Nationals. In a small country like Bhutan it would not be so hard to set up a efficient lottery chain.
    Now the business won’t be as big, but who cares, it will benefit the Bhutanese people. The winnings will benefit Bhutanse, the commissions will benefit Bhutanese and it will create jobs inside Bhutan. Right now Bhutan does not get much benefit from lottery business, except a lumpsum amount from the agent.
    Hopefully someone in the goverment will think about it.

  4. lamakheno says:

    Don’t worry about this investigation. This time the government will take the opposition to court for defamation for allegedly taking kickbacks. If the government is guilty, it should take responsibility and the concerned people should resign or be sacked and if the allegations are baseless, than the opposition should take resoponsibility and resign.

  5. Mr. Viewer says:

    Friends,
    I think OL has really put up a perfect and ethical question in regards to this issue where our Finance Minister made his way out with an unclear response. I think the govt. has to really buckel-up for such an issue for our country.
    Needs futher satisfaction of response from the govt. to the public on such impt issues.

  6. I strongly support Hon’ble OL. The way FM responds, something is really fishy. The ACC should probe into the matter right from ministry down to lottery office, Phuntsholing and all person involved should be booked.

  7. Pema Sherab says:

    Mr Thruth,

    what you said is true, yet there are no allegation made by the Hon’ble OL, he was only questining, if there are any investigation on lottery allegation and we all agree that allegation is true, coz.. the speaker himself said its in the Indian Court loo, why in court, if there is no corruption? something is really fishy… so who is to resign?

  8. True Dukpa says:

    Let’s accept one fact once and for all, that our ACC is nothing but a puppet in the hands of powerful lot. I remember when ACC was instituted, it began by saying that “small fish leading to big fish catch ups”, but the reality is far from the truth and in the many recent corruption cases we heard of, it was only the small fishes that were penalised so far. There were not a single big fish that was either caught or penalised, even if there were any, they were in effect not a big fish (considering the factors that is required to fall in the ‘Big fish’ category). Basically, ACC and alike institutions such as RCSC, Audit etc. is there to harass and penalise small fishes in as many ways as possible. Thus, rules and regulations that are formulated and framed does not impact the ‘big, wealthy, influential, powerful lot’ and it doesn’t make any difference to them, because, at the end of day, there are numerous ways and means that can help and assist loosen up rules to them, on the other hand, there are numerous ways and means to harass and penalise common and poor people who lack influences, power and wealth.

    Corruption is everywhere whether you accept it or not. The lottery case, if investigated, I am sure will line up a lot of big fish, afterall we are talking about Nu 800 bn here and for years the public and government has been kept in dark. Who is responsible? Who is to be held accountable to such a corruption of this magnitude? Who has been benefiting all these years? Where has the money gone??? Certainly and 100 percent not to Bhutanese needy and poor people!

  9. Come on Finance Minister! Sue the MP who accused the government and the civil servants of taking kickbacks.

  10. The scale of allegations had undermine our social status and i was astonished to hear that government had lost billions in lottery scam. The mistake from our governmetn side are as follows
    a. No an open tender in 2007. only 9 companies invited through exclusive invitation.
    b. Despite numerous evidences submitted against Martin, the inter-ministerial tender committee gives tender to Martin Agency.
    c. Lottery runs from 1982 to 2007 with no tendering at minimal revenue.
    d. Secret undertaking by Martin to Bhutan lottery committee giving him space to break some rules.
    e. Bhutan failed to monitor various illegal activities by the lottery agent across the years whereby Bhutan was losing out money and name.
    Beside above stated flaws, there are other.

    Bhutan loses huge potential revenue.
    I hope it will not happen again in our GNH country.

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