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Since 1st March, 1999
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Meet to discuss Cachar mill problems

Silchar, Jan. 7: A high-level meeting will be held in Guwahati next Thursday to decide on the course of action regarding Hindustan Paper Corporationís Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram.

The Centre is thinking of either declaring the mill a sick industry to make the way for its privatisation or taking urgent steps to revitalise it.

The chairman of the Bureau for Restructuring of Public Sector Enterprises, Nitish Sengupta, the chairman of HPC, M.V. Narasimha Rao, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and Assam PHE minister Goutam Roy will be present at the meeting, among others.

The mill, which started production in 1988, has been facing a number of problems, including shortage of raw materials like bamboo and coal and difficulties in transporting processed paper to its marketing centres.

The mill, which requires at least 1,200 tonnes of bamboo per day to meet a target of 300 tonnes, is able to procure only 600 tonnes daily from the Barak Valley, Dima Hasao district and Mizoram.

The supply of coal has also been dwindling, from an average supply of 575 tonnes per day to 300 tonnes.

Hindustan Paper Corporation sources said in the current fiscal, the production of paper is expected to reach 80,000 tonnes, short of its targeted production figure of one lakh tonnes.

In early December last year, HPC director of finance Amitabha Bannerjee and director of marketing Srikanta Jain had visited the Panchgram paper mill to take stock of the situation.

The officials said the mill could be saved if the Mizoram government steps up its supply of bamboo to the paper mill.

On December 4, the trade unions of the mill staged a 10-hour demonstration before the main gates to highlight their plight.

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