COVID-19: Mizoram Congress alleges irregularities in purchase

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The Mizoram Congress has lodged a complaint with the state Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), an autonomous body, alleging that there were irregularities in the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) sets and other safety gears.

The Congress also alleged the sets of the coveralls were “substandard” and “not fit for use”, and the materials were not bought from the approved suppliers.

State Health and Family Welfare Board vice chairman and ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) legislator Dr Z R Thiamsanga denied the allegation and said “no public money was wasted in the procurement and none of the PPEs were rejected”.

The state government had spent “Rs 99 lakh for purchasing a batch of 10,900 PPEs and other medical equipment weighing 1,979 kg”, Congress leader Lalhriatpuia claimed.

“The consignment was supplied here on March 27 from New Delhi through a cargo flight, and it was a wasteful expenditure as the products were faulty and not fit for use,” he said, adding that the party has requested the Anti Corruption Bureau to probe into the matter.

The Congress alleged that the government had also spent Rs 16.2 lakh from state disaster management and rehabilitation department for arranging the cargo flight.

Any procurement, which had not been made through the state Purchase Advisory Board, was a “gross violation of law”, the party leader said.

Thiamsanga said the “departmental procedure such as taking quotation before placing the order could not be followed due to scarcity of PPEs in the country”.

“We had to act quickly as one COVID-19 case was detected that time, and the state needed PPEs urgently for the safety of our medical staff,” he said.

However, all the other consignments, received after March 27, were procured through proper channel, Thiamsanga said.

He said the government led by Chief Minister Zoramthanga had worked hard to manage a cargo flight for supplying of the consignment.

Thiamsanga, who also heads the medical operational team on COVID-19, said that the opposition party must have been misinformed about the matter.

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