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AASU seeks timeframe for revival of HPC mills

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Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 6: “If Dispur can’t save the sick industries of the State, we don’t understand what has made it organize the extravagant Advantage Assam? In the run-up to the Lok Sabha election, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi made a lot of promises, including the revival of the State’s Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) mills and the Ashok Paper Mill at Jogighopa. However, nothing came out like that. Now his Government is trying to declare HPC Ltd insolvent. Why?”

These are two straight questions, one each for Dispur and New Delhi, from All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) adviser-in-chief Samujjal Bhattacharya.
A petition has been filed before the National Company Law Tribunal under Section 9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 to which a notice has been issued for the commencement of the corporation insolvency resolution process against HPC Ltd on June 13, 2018.

Talking to The Sentinel, Samujjal Bhattacharya said: “The Centre and the State Government have done precious little for the industrial development in Assam. Before the elections, they made lots of promises to revive the two sick paper mills in Assam, but now they’re out to close them. State Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary’s first announcement after taking charge was “not to allow the closure of State’s two HPC mills”. Where’s Patowary now?”

Bhattacharya further said: “Advantage Assam was held in the State inviting big companies. The companies made tall promises. We don’t understand what has made Dispur hold such an extravagant event if it can’t even save the existing industries in the State? It’s unfortunate that the Department of Industries is more inclined towards outside entrepreneurs, leaving the local ones high and dry. If this is not an anti-people policy, what else is? We’re not going to let that happen. We want nothing short of an exact timeframe from the Prime Minister as to when his government is going to revive the two HPC mills in Assam.”

On July 1, Silchar MP Sushmita Dev wrote a letter to the Prime Minister expressing her concern over the move to declare HPC Ltd insolvent. The MP questioned the Prime Minister as to how the two HPC mills could be closed even after repeated assurances for their revival by the State Industries Minister. Stating the HPC mills in Assam as viable ones, she said that a conspiracy has been hatched to close the two mills. She requested the Prime Minister to do something tangible for the revival of the two mills.