The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hind Paper selloff plan takes on a new twist

Calcutta, May 2: Even as the government looks for an adviser to sell its 74 per cent stake in Hindustan Paper Corporation, the public-sector companyís plan to divest its subsidiary, Hindustan Newsprint, is rolling ahead.

Hindustan Paper Corp managing director Raji Philip did not say if Hindustan Newsprint would indeed change hands before its parent, but he said the eight companies that SBI Caps found as prospective buyers had carried out their due diligence of the subsidiary.

Both companies recorded improved performance in the last financial year and are looking forward to government concessions to shore up their financial position.

The 830-crore Hind Paper, which has two plants in Assam, has sought excise concessions under the 1997 North Eastern Industrial Policy. With the Assam government backing it, Philip said the Centre would extend the incentives to ensure a level-playing field and to remove problems thrown up by the location of plants.

An investment of Rs 300 crore will be made over the next few years in Hind Paperís two factories, one in Cachar and the other Nagaon, to help them meet environmental norms set in the Montreal Convention on Industrial Environment. These could include the introduction of chlorine-free bleaching in paper production.

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