The National Lotteries Board (NLB) and Development Lotteries Board (DLB) are to be removed from the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and placed back again as a subject under the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.President Maithripala Sirisena issuing Extraordinary Gazette No 2032/32 on August 17, 2017 has reassigned the two institutions back to their original ministry.
The two institutions had been assigned amidst much controversy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the last Cabinet reshuffle at the end of May of this year. It was reported that it was done at the request of former Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
Newly appointed Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana officially assumed office yesterday.
The NLB was established by Finance Act No.11 of 1963 with several sections of the Act amended in 1997 and 1998. Funds generated from the lotteries are send to the Consolidated Fund, Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Labour, Sports and the Airport Aviation Authority.
The DLB in the meantime was established on January 1, 1983.
The main objective of the Centre was to assist the Government to raise finances. According to the DLB; the income generated by the DLB is credited to the President’s Fund, which in turn utilises 50% of it for the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund.
The balance generates various financial avenues to the poor people by way of uplifting their living standards, catering to the health, providing funds for the maintenance of religious institutions, welfare societies and sports and to the field of arts.