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.