ISLAMABAD: The government is studying a proposal to launch a monthly lottery scheme to prop up its coffers at a time of financial crunch.

An informed source told Dawn the proposal was among several out-of-the-box suggestions proffered by financial experts to help the government avert bankruptcy.

The money earned by the government through lottery schemes will be spent on development projects like setting up of hospitals, training institutes and subsidising essential commodities.

Similar schemes have been operating with success in the United States, the United King­dom, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

A task force is likely be set up soon for examining the legal aspects of the scheme and evaluating its economic impact.

The source recalled that a similar scheme was launched before the 1989 South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Islamabad. A huge sum was generated, but the practice was discontinued after a number of religious scholars decreed it as un-Islamic, even likening it to gambling and betting.

This time the government intends to seek the opinion of religious scholars before taking a decision about its introduction.

Financial experts believe the proposal would take care of the International Monetary Fund’s concerns that relief to the common man should not be given through subsidies since it burdens the exchequer.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2022

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