Centre behind crisis, PM’s intervention sought

Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 14: According to the media report emanating from the national capital, it is more or less a well pronounced decision of the Central government that the two paper mills at Cachar and Nagaon are more or less a losing concerns and the possibility of their revival is almost a distant proposition. Some glimmer of hope was raised when Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, during the closing ceremony of Namami Barak in November last addressing the huge assembly on the occasion made the statement that the state government had been in touch with Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries, who was examining the possibility of the reopening of the two mills.

Manobendra Chakraborty, president, Cachar Paper Project Workers Union, said it is most unfortunate that the present BJP led government of Narendra Modi should take the extreme step for closure of mills, declaring them as financially bankrupt and unviable. In the meantime, owing to the dilly-dallying decision making process of the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Enterprises 19 workers faced premature death while in harness due to non receipt of salaries for months together. Besides, they were in psychological distress and did not get proper medical care and attention.

Dipak Chandra Nath, general secretary, Cachar Paper Mill Officers and Supervisors Association said it is a hard reality of fact that the government may take its own decision and might also go on delaying it, but it cannot restore the lives of those who have met with tragedy. Along with them, their dependent family members are also in acute financial distress due to non payment of salaries and other dues to their guardian officers and workers. Moreover, the employees are passing through critical days and still hope that the Central government would take a positive decision for its privatization as one of the options.

The Joint Forum of Cachar Paper Mill recognized Unions and Officers and Supervisors Association has drawn the attention of the Prime Minister to the order passed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) New Delhi u/s 9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 against Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd. Accordingly, insolvency resolution process has already been started against the HPC. The Joint Forum, pointed out Dipak Chandra Nath, has been pursuing the revival proposition with the PMO, Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, Anant Geete, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises, Babul Supriyo, Rajen Gohai, Minister of State for Railway and Sarbananda Sonowal who all assured that the mills would be revived shortly.

It is due to the delaying process by the government of India that the mills have been dragged to its present impasse, opined the Joint Forum. The Forum has sought the immediate intervention of the Prime Minister not only for revival of the mills but also for protecting the interests of employees and officers.