Former Regime 'Abused' Rs 150mn Of Lotteries Board Funds: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Friday charged that the former regime has ‘abused’ funds amounting to over Rs. 150 million allocated to National Lotteries Board and utilized them to meet election purposes.

Total budget allocation of NLB was Rs. 400 million, Karunanayake further said.

Minister Karunanayake told the press that he had called for an audit report on these allegations. This audit is currently being carried out, he added.

“The National Lotteries Board had been steadily incurring losses and Rs. 67 mn had been spent on promotional video walls (truck promos) by the former regime,” the minister added.

The minister said the full amount of funds that were abused could be ascertained once the final audit report is brought out in the coming days.

NLB chairperson Shyamila Perera said that funds allocated for Lotteries Board were being used to fulfill other purposes, such as paying for polls-linked musical shows and sport events. The Carlton Marathon was one such event, Perera also said.

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