Congress In Mizoram Accuses State Education Minister Of 'Laundering' Rs 26 Lakhs

Mizoram Minister Money Laudering Allegation
Lunglei District INC Accuses Mizoram Education Minister of laundering money in connection to the construction of Baptist Higher Secondary School in Serkawn

 Lunglei 16.09.2022

Lunglei District Congress Committee (LDCC) on Thursday accused State's Education Minister Lalchhandama Ralte of misappropriating funds for the construction of  The Baptist Higher Secondary School (BHSS) Administrative Building, Lunglei Serkawn. They have demanded that the minister hand over the "embezzled" money to the Baptist Church Of Mizoram ( BCM ) within September.  They also questioned him about the location of the funds.

Baptist Higher Secondary School (BHSS) Administrative Building, which is currently being constructed by Mizoram government with a NABARD loan, was allegedly missing Rs26 lakhs in funds, according to Lunglei Congress.

According to LDCC, BHSS was included in the school renovation project during the Congress government with an estimate of Rs 80 lakhs, but when the MNF-led government was formed, the estimate was reduced to Rs 78 lakhs and a contractor was hired. BCM has requested Education Minister Lalchhandama to hand over the project to the church because they were concerned that the building would be poorly constructed under the supervision of a contractor. However, their pleas were ignored, the group claimed. 

Lunglei Congress in their statement said  "The use of party workers in construction is understandable. However, in order to raise funds, the Education Minister hired the Allied Consultancy firm to build the building for Rs 52 lakh, which means that Rs 26 lakhs were laundered. The contractor had set aside Rs 15 lakh for themselves and offered BCM Rs 37 lakh for the construction of the administrative block, which BCM turned down. The Education Minister and his peers then asked BCM to construct the building at a cost of Rs 42,4,688, with the church paying for earthwork costs for party workers/contractors. Their Rs 26,00,000 share was kept hidden and secure."

Having no other choice, the BCM decided to continue building with available government funds and supplement the remaining cost with its own funds, according to the Congress statement.

LDCC said that the renovation of the Baptist Higher Secondary School Administrative Building have begun in September last year. Out of the estimate of Rs 78,00,000, Rs 10,00,000 was paid to the contractor and Rs 42,46,088/- out of the remaining Rs 68,00,000 was handed over to the Baptist Church Of Mizoram(BCM). They asked the education minister where the remaining Rs 26 Lakhs have been "laundered" off. 

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