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Spotlight on Subhash Chandra's Essel Group as CAG Probes Rs 11,000 Crore Lottery Irregularity
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has slammed four private companies – one of which is closely associated with the Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group and whose majority shareholders include Chandra’s son and brother – and Mizoram government officials for gross irregularities in the way the state’s lotteries were held from 2012-2015.
The more serious of alleged violations? The non-deposit of of money that was due to the state exchequer – to the tune of Rs 11,808 crore – and the decision to go with a flawed revenue-sharing model. Both of these decisions “resulted in substantial loss of revenue to the state government and large financial benefits to the distributors”, according to the auditor’s report.
The CAG has also charged the lottery ticket distribution firms and state government officials with favouritism in the process of awarding tenders for organising the lotteries, tax evasions and other flagrant violations of the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998 and Lotteries Regulation (Rules), 2010.
The national auditor, which examined the Mizoram state lotteries from the period 2010-11 to 2014- 15, has further stated that the violation of rules by the four companies could have resulted in a loss of thousands of crores in revenue to the Mizoram government – to put this in context, the state’s budget this year is Rs 8,000 crore.