Data Map: A lottery site in Beijing (Source: Zhongxin. com)
Recently, the website of the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection released confession videos of four former leaders of China Welfare Lottery Issuance Management Center, which triggered heated public opinion. Combined with the data previously released by the Ministry of Finance, the total sales of lottery tickets nationwide reached 383.498 billion yuan in the first three quarters, of which 165.311 billion yuan was sold by welfare lottery institutions. With such huge sales, the topic of welfare lottery fund management can easily be derived from public opinion.
Welfare lottery was developed under the background of social system reform and social welfare system reconstruction in China. Since its establishment, the welfare lottery has held high the welfare banner of "helping the elderly, helping the disabled, saving the orphans and helping the needy", accumulated a large amount of public welfare funds, and actively promoted public welfare projects, which has made outstanding contributions to the development of charity in China and awakened the public’s charity consciousness to a certain extent. However, there are some problems exposed in the development of welfare lottery, such as unclear functional orientation, opaque use of funds, lack of integrity in operating procedures, etc., which have aroused widespread concern in the whole society. Therefore, when developing welfare lottery, we should pay attention to the following relations:
The first is the relationship between public welfare and profit. Public welfare is the fundamental purpose of developing welfare lottery. On the premise of public welfare, it is a profit-making problem. Therefore, welfare lottery should focus on the rational distribution mechanism of fund raising, highlight the role of welfare lottery in public welfare undertakings, make profit-making serve public welfare, and prevent it from becoming a tool for individuals, companies and even government departments to make profits under the banner of public welfare.
The second is the relationship between state and market. Whether welfare lottery is managed by the government or operated by the market is very important for the development of welfare lottery. From the development history of the world welfare lottery, although lottery sales have a strong market-oriented color, lottery management has a strong national regulatory characteristics. For example, in Britain, there is a special national lottery committee in charge of the issuance and management of lottery tickets, and private operation of lottery tickets is not allowed. In the States that allow lottery tickets to be issued in the United States, there are also very clear purposes for the use of lottery profits, which are mainly used for public education, sports facilities construction, mass transportation systems, and housing construction for disabled veterans.
The third is the relationship between short-term and long-term. As a new thing in China, welfare lottery has broken through many taboos in concepts and systems in the field of social construction. In the short term, we should focus on the legislation and supervision of welfare lottery. In the long run, the development of welfare lottery still faces many uncertainties. For example, with the introduction of new regulations on the lottery industry, how will the public welfare and welfare of welfare lottery be reflected? Therefore, the theoretical research on welfare lottery should be strengthened to provide theoretical support and decision-making basis for relevant policy formulation.
The fourth is the relationship between locality and internationality. To develop welfare lottery, we should not only consider the traditional culture of China, but also respect the general law of its industry development. Welfare lottery should be based on China’s national conditions, emphasize its charitable nature, weaken gamblers’ psychology, and make welfare lottery serve social harmony and social security. At the same time, we need to clarify the responsibility of the central government and standardize the rules for the use of welfare lottery public welfare funds.
To sum up, we should pay attention to the following points in developing welfare lottery.
First, we must improve the management system. Establish and improve the management system of "national issuance-financial management-civil use-audit supervision" as soon as possible, and consider setting up a management organization similar to the National Welfare Lottery Committee or the National Lottery Committee to be responsible for the issuance management of welfare lottery tickets. Welfare lottery proceeds shall be incorporated into the special accounts of the central and local governments in a timely manner, and the civil affairs department shall put forward a plan for the use of welfare lottery proceeds, and be responsible for the organization and implementation of various welfare plans and projects. The audit department should supervise the above-mentioned links and form a closed loop of the system.
Second, we must enhance credibility. The operating procedures of welfare lottery should be standardized and transparent, and the operating cost, profit distribution and winning probability should be reasonably stipulated, so as to ensure the fairness and justice of the lottery management and enhance its social credibility.
Third, we must guide public opinion propaganda. Focus on public welfare, such as how many "Hope Primary Schools" have been donated by the Welfare Lottery Fund and how many poor people have been subsidized. It is necessary to weaken the gimmicky public opinion guidance on gameplay and winning information, and form a good charity culture atmosphere.
Fourth, the public welfare fund should be used transparently. The welfare lottery public welfare fund should give priority to the areas of people’s livelihood such as education, pension, protection of the disabled and children, regularly publish the income, expenditure and balance, and conduct a third-party evaluation on the use effect of funds to ensure the healthy operation of welfare lottery on the track of law and system.
(Han Keqing, Professor, School of Labor and Personnel, Renmin University of China, special author of overseas network)