Silchar: The HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee has welcomed the ongoing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry at Cachar paper mill. According to reliable sources, the CBI will look into the intriguing aspect of Cachar paper mill being closed since October 20, 2015 despite huge stocks of bamboos weighing 19000 mt, coal 12000 mt, 2300 mt of lime and many other products amounting to Rs.1000 crores.
Sudden suspension of production at Cachar paper mill led to the unemployment of 2 lakh people and collapse of rural economy. Manobendra Chakraborty, chief convener of the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee, said on the plea of suspension of production, the government of India who are the employers of the workers withheld their salary for the last 24 months.
Such uncalled for and inexplicable action on the part of the Centre, he pointed out, resulted in the deaths of 49 employees of both Cachar and Nagaon Paper Mills while in active services. Consequent upon suspension of production at both the mills, an artificial crisis cropped up in the domestic market and the total business went into the hands of private corporate houses that are now monopolizing and controlling the prices of paper products. During this period, quite significantly, prices of paper shot up more than 100 per cent. Still, most unfortunate, India is importing paper from China and Korea by draining foreign currency in order to meet growing domestic requirements of paper consumption.
The government of India, other conveners of Revival Action Committee who include Baharul Islam Barbhuiya, Sanjeev Roy, A R Mazumdar, Azir Uddin and Dipak Chandra Nath, is allegedly deliberately delaying release of revival package of Paper Mills of Assam which has been pending before the PMO for a long time. It is their view that the suspension of production in these Paper Mills and the delay to reopen them are part of a larger conspiracy, mainly to allow private parties to reap the benefits.
They have also been critical of importing paper from foreign countries by keeping the mills closed which goes against the much vaunted policy of ‘make in India’. It also is a mockery of the Act East Policy as two prospective Paper Mills have been forced to go into hibernation. This also is an indication of Centre’s indifferent attitude towards Assam and northeast.
It is relevant to mention here that on several occasions, different unions besides demanding reopening of the Mills have sought CBI inquiry into all the aspects raised. A petition was also submitted by the chief convener Manobendra Chakraborty, president, Cachar Paper Project Workers’ Union affiliated to INTUC, before the Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Ranjan Gogoi, vide petition dated November 22, 2018, praying for a CBI inquiry under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India along with many other issues seeking the intervention of the Apex Court. The Revival Action Committee while welcoming the initiative taken by the CBI expresses the confidence that the entire gamut of causes behind the closure of the Mill will be unearthed and the guilty responsible for such irresponsible acts will be booked and punished.