Guwahati: Minister of Information & Public Relation, Piyush Hazarika, today expressed the government's interest in rescuing and establishing the employees of the two paper mills of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) in Nagaon and Cachar which has been closed down.
Addressing the media, Piyush Hazarika said, "Several unions associated with the two paper mills have held four meetings with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the last 100 days. Employees' Union comprising of Officers' Union have demanded Rs. 530 crore from the liquidator along with a few other additional charges which will round up to Rs. 650 crore approximately. The Assam Government is ready to pay that amount within a week. Our only demand is to return the land to the Assam Government."
He added, "Above that former employees of these two paper mills will be provided with 100 government jobs by the Assam Government if only they are competent."
The employees of the Cachar and Nagaon Paper Mills were served an eviction notice by the liquidator of the paper mills to vacate their accommodation/quarters within 15 days or face legal action. Piyush Hazarika's statement was made to clarify all the confusion and chaos caused by the eviction notice.
Cachar Paper Mill's employees have not received their salaries for the past 57 months, while Nagaon Paper Mill employees have not got their salaries for the past 55 months.
The HPC's liquidator Kuldeep Verma issued the notice for vacating the mills' quarters on Friday. As per the notice, their employment with the HPC had ended on May 2, 2019, or earlier because of reasons like resignation, superannuation, death or termination and as such their occupation of the accommodation is unauthorised. Thus, they need to vacate the quarters within 15 days of the notice, the notice said.
It may be mentioned that the mills' employees, who have been suffering because of non-payment of salaries for over four years, have appealed to the government many times for remittance of their dues, but nothing has been done till date. With the financial crunch and now this order for vacating their residential quarters, the mills' employees are most likely to have very tough days ahead.