Normally, the NLB daily issue of tickets from its stores is around 3-4 million tickets. However, due to the recent price change issue the daily ticket issue had drastically reduced to only around 400-500 thousand tickets.
The reason that the NLB had plunged to this predicament is said to be the arrogant actions of the Chairperson and the rash decisions being taken by the Additional General Manager who is a political appointee, allege the NLB workers.
Additional General Manager:
This Additional General Manager who has been serving for around 18 months had organised a competition to select the company’s best employee at the Attidiya Eagle Resort, which cost the NLB over Rs. 22 million in expenditure.
This competition was organised under his purview and employees selected from various divisions were given awards and cash gifts.
Ironically, the award for the best employee received a cash prize of Rs. 500,000 and it so happened that the Additional General Manager himself was the recipient of this award.
Due to these awards being politically motivated, employees serving the organisation with dedication for over 15-20 years are said to be greatly disappointed.
Allegations against the Chairman:
The NLB unions have notified the President, Prime Minister and the Finance Minister in writing that the only way to resurrect the NLB from this predicament is to immediately remove the current Chairperson and appoint a suitable replacement.
In 2016, the NLB earned a profit of over Rs. 20 billion, but today it is facing a huge financial crisis as it is unable to meet its commitments to institutions such as the Agriculture Department, Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry, Ranaviru Seva Authority, Health Ministry, National Kidney Fund and the Finance Ministry. In addition the NLB is also struggling to meet their commitments to the employees’ salaries, payments to disabled ticket sellers and agents’ payments which are being covered by the daily sales.
10% of tickets remaining
When contacted regarding this issue the Chairperson of the NLB Shermila Perera said, due to the price reduction from Rs. 30 to Rs. 20, 10% of the tickets that were printed at Rs. 30 have remained.
She further stated that it is normal for a certain percentage of printed tickets to remain unsold. However, she added that the reason for 10% of the Rs. 30 tickets to remain was due to the strike action that was staged by the countrywide lottery agents, against the increase in ticket prices.
Shermila was appointed by Ravi- Swan symbol is Shermila’s
Shermila Perera was appointed as the Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
President Maithripala Sirisena contested the last election under the Swan symbol New Democratic Front which is owned by Shermila.
It is believed that appointing her as the Chairperson of the NLB is a gesture of gratitude, it is reported.