GUWAHATI: JACRU (Joint Action Committee of Recognised Union), Cachar, and Nagaon Paper Mills, Assam president Manobendra Chakraborty, said that after the closure of two paper mills in Assam, the import of paper from other countries has registered a sharp increase.
Citing the report of the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Chakraborty said, “The import of paper registered a 43 percent increase from April 2023 to September 2023. At a time when the value of the rupee is falling against the dollar, India had to import 9,59,000 MT of paper worth Rs 6,481 crore from other countries. And the lion’s share of the imported paper is from China. Two paper mills were closed in Assam. And now the country is dependent on China and a few other Asian countries to meet her demand for paper.”
Chakraborty said, “The Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises invested Rs 4,141 crore from 2014-15 to 2017-18 for the revival of Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd. having its two sole units, Cachar and Nagaon paper mills, in Assam. Nobody knows where the money was spent. On July 7, 2022, when we signed the MoU with the State Government, the Chief Minister assured us of reviving the two paper mills. However, the government has not yet translated the assurance into reality. Our appeal to the government is to stop the import of paper and develop our own paper industry in sync with the slogan ‘atmonirbhor Bharat’. He said that JACRU will continue to lead a movement against the move to make India dependent on other countries.”