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MNF Urges Mizoram CM to Call in CBI

MNF Urges Mizoram CM to Call in CBI
May 18
13:28 2017

The opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) on Wednesday submitted a letter to Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla imploring him to call in the CBI to probe the scams of state lottery and Mizo Carbon Product Pvt Ltd. As the chief minister was away, the letter was handed over to deputy secretary and PS to CM, Alexander V Chawngthu.

Mr Lal Thanhawla on Friday challenged the MNF to initiate a CBI probe into the alleged corruption in the Mizoram state lottery and the Mizo Carbon Product Pvt Ltd in which the opposition party implicated the chief minister and some ministers. “As you are in a position to call in the CBI, we request you to do so. You may endorse our letter to the chief secretary who would in turn do the needful to call in the CBI. We would like to have a copy of that letter to make sure that your instructions are followed,” the MNF letter said.

It might be recalled that the Comptroller Auditor General of India, in its report tabled in the state Assembly last December, found a host of anomaliesin the way the Mizoram government handled the state lotteries that eventually resulted in a staggering loss of Rs 11,808.77 crores, which is much more than the state’s annual budget. According to the CAG report, the Mizoram government allowed the distributors to evade income tax by using a loophole. The Income Tax Act 1961 demands that 10 per cent of commissions payable to the distributorsbe deducted as income tax at source by the state government. But this was never done because the state never collected the sales proceeds.

The MNF suspected that Mr Lal Thanhawla and finance minister Lalsawta were involved in the anomalies. The Mizo Carbon Products, at the Industrial Growth Centre at Luangmual locality in Aizawl, had allegedly availed more than Rs 3 crore of central subsidies through recommendations by the state government.

However, the firm is nothing more than empty buildings, rusting machinery, surrounded by tall grasses and a lone caretaker who claimed he had not been paid for months. The fact that the firm’s co-owner is the sister-in-law of Mizoram Cabinet minister Zodintluanga has enlarged the controversy. Even though the Mizo Carbon Product Pvt Ltd is being investigated by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau since last year, the slow process of the investigation has been slammed and two social activists have earlier separately demanded that the case be handed over to the CBI.

-UNI

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