Karti Chidambaram, son of Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, proposes introduction of state-run lottery to fund public health and education in Tamil Nadu.
He made the proposal to get a debate going in the state. The proposal is to ‘bring forth a weekly publicly-funded government-run lottery system to raise money for health & education.’
Karti Chidambaram suggests that the state-run lottery can be a transparent lottery, structured like the UK National Lottery, and that the cash gathered can be used to help transform and socialise schools and hospitals in the state and to redistribute wealth to a large number of people in the form of direct cash transfers.
The proposed lottery structure will be transparent, monitored and televised like the UK lottery. As per the proposal, its purpose will be to improve the quality and affordability of education and hospitals and to bring them on par with private schools and hospitals, eliminating differences based on economic means, place of residence, caste or creed.
The proposal states that the funds raised from the lottery will also be used to improve infrastructure and staffing at public schools and hospitals and to pay commercially viable salaries to public healthcare and school staff. Excess funds will fund vocational or professional education of qualified students in public or private schools.
The lottery tickets are proposed to be valued at Rs, 10 each, and people can choose their own ticket numbers like in the UK. Each person will be allowed to purchase upto 10 tickets, which will be linked to their Aadhaar card. This will ensure that people don’t overspend on lottery tickets.
The proposal estimates that one crore people will spend Rs.100 per week on the lottery, making a weekly money pool of hundred crore rupees. As per the proposal, a total of Rs. 8 core can be awarded as winnings per week to 11,717 people. Each week, the first place winner will win Rs. 1 crore, two runner-ups will win Rs. 50 lakh each, and four third-place winners will earn Rs. 25 lakh each. Other prizes will include Rs. 10 lakh for 10 people, Rs. 50,000 for 200 people, Rs. 20,000 for 500 people, Rs. 10,000 for 1000 people, and Rs. 1000 for 10,000 people. The remaining of the lottery proceeds will be redistributed towards equal free health and education for all.
Recently, the Supreme Court upheld that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is to be imposed on the sale of lottery tickets, plus betting and gambling activities.
On the other hand, the Tamil Nadu government recently promulgated an ordinance to ban online gaming and gambling activities.