FROM A CORRESPONDENT
JAGIROAD, Feb 6: The Kagaj Nigam Karmi Union (KNKU), the workers’ body of the gaon Paper Mill (NPM), a unit of the Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited, stated the mill cannot look up unless there is an intervention from the concerned ministry for granting requisite fincial support to address a few crucial issues of the corporation.
The KNKU, in this regard has also demanded setting up of a technical committee to make an on-the-spot study of both the integrated mills of the corporation – the NPM and the Cachar Paper Mill (CPM).
In a memorandum submitted to the Union Minister for Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, Ant G Geete, the Union drew the attention of his ministry to the current major challenges faced by the two mills in terms of increase in the cost of major inputs like bamboo, coal, lime and other allied chemicals, ageing of the machinery, higher cost of production and low market realization etc.
“As the present government has been deeply focussing on the ‘Make in India’ plan, we hope of your kind intervention and initiation on the matter” – the memorandum signed by the working president, Dhiren Chandra Borah and the general secretary Anda Bordoloi further noted.
It may be mentioned that the Government of India had established the two equal capacity paper mills in Assam in view of the availability and abundance of various raw materials like bamboo, coal and lime etc. The two mills, mely, NPM at Jagiroad and CPM at Panchgram had started their commercial production of writing and printing paper from 1985 and 1988 respectively.
The recent scerio of the corporation is a pathetic one. Almost all the installed machinery, at different plants are growing old and outdated, which cause frequent breakdowns and thereby result in lesser production of paper.
The depreciation value of the planted machinery is almost negligible at present. Moreover, the corporation has although, two producing units mely NPM and CPM along with galand Pulp & Paper Mill at Tuli as a subsidiary unit of HPCL, the entire burden has been borne by gaon Paper Mill for the last several years and this may also be a cause of acute shortage of ‘working capital’ in NPM.
The major sources for chief fibrous raw material (bamboo) for the two units are Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills. The HPCL magement had executed long-term agreements for extraction of bamboo from the lease area of these two councils. The lease agreement was for 30 years which had expired on 2012. No new agreement with the KAAC has yet been executed by HPCL magement, as a result of which, bamboo has to be procured at higher cost and the rate of consumption of the inputs is found to be higher than the standard norms.
The HPCL is one of the major suppliers of writing and printing papers for various States’ governmental needs, especially in the official and educatiol sectors and that too, at a moderate selling price. Moreover, the variable cost of paper production is also increasing tremendously. It is also to be stated that the Indian paper market has been controlled by these two mills, otherwise it would have been monopolized by the private paper producers.
At present, the supply of coal for the two units from the neighbouring State of Meghalaya has been banned since 2012-13 by the tiol Green Tribul (NGT), which has also caused a shortage of coal for the units and the corporation has to bear additiol costs for collecting coal from other sources.
The KNKU of the unit, further drew the intervention of the authorities for granting requisite fincial support to address the above mentioned crucial issues of the corporation, the president and general secretary added.