Lottery dealers in the state of Punjab are stuck with Rs. 2 crore worth of tickets after the cancellation of Baisakhi bumper due to the ongoing pandemic. The customers were informed that they could encash tickets from stockists, sellers and post offices. However, the dealers have alleged that the state government has refused to refund the tickets or exchange them for the tickets for Rakhi bumper.
It was disclosed by the dealers that about 9 lakh tickets of the Baisakhi bumper were sold for Rs. 22 crore before the cancellation of the bumper was announced. The dealers are stuck with tickets worth Rs. 2 crore.
As per a report in Hindustan Times, a lottery dealer in Punjab, Som Nath, said, “We have refunded the amount to most customers, but the state government is now harassing the dealers by not allowing refund or exchange of tickets. The government can at least exchange the tickets with the Rakhi bumper, which has been recently announced by the government. But the authorities are not paying any heed.”
Northern India Lottery Association’s president H K Chugh said, “The draw for the Baisakhi bumper was scheduled for April 17, but the government cancelled the same on April 11 due to Covid-19. It had conveyed that tickets could be encashed from sellers and post offices, but now the government is not issuing refunds. It is not even exchanging the tickets, which will surely hit the credibility of the department and the state government. Dealers across the state are a harried lot.”
As per a report in The Tribune, Chugh added, “We have given an easy option of exchange of Baisakhi Bumper tickets with Rakhi Bumper, which is not acceptable to the Directorate of Punjab State Lotteries for the reasons best known to them.”
Chugh said that he will take up the matter with the state’s government and will also meet Punjab’s Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, if needed.
“If a person is facing harassment for getting a refund of ₹250, how can he/she expect that the prize would be provided to him with ease,” asked Chugh.
Recently, a meeting was also held between the Northern India Lottery Association and a few officials of the Punjab State Lotteries department, but no conclusion came out of it.
Punjab State Lotteries superintendent Harjeet Singh said, “Dealers have submitted their demands and the department is looking into it. A few claims made by them regarding the sale of tickets are also suspicious. A decision has to be taken by higher authorities and it would be announced soon.”