The decision to gazette the National Lotteries Board under the Ministry of Foreign affairs created quite a stir in Sri Lanka. And now, there are signs of a legal dispute brewing in the horizon due to the decision.
The Island newspaper has reported that the Lotteries Board should be vested with the Minister of Finance, as per the National Lotteries Board Act No. 11 of 1963.
Section 22 of the act reads: “The Minister means the Minister to whom the subject or function of Finance is assigned by the President”
The Executive Director of TISL (Transparency International Sri Lanka) Asoka Obeyesekere has issued a statement which says:
“it would seem clear that assigning lotteries to any other minister, other than the Finance Minister, is incorrect in law and in contravention of the intentions of Parliament when passing the Act”.
The TISL has called on the President to correct the error in the gazette notification and allay any fears that state bodies are retained as personal privileges.
According to the National Lotteries Board website, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the preparation of a new Act for the NLB.
The website states that a need has arisen to create a new act in-order to make the Finance Act No.11 of 1963, under which the NLB was established, compatible with present times.
The NLB also stated that the amendment has also been recommended by COPE.