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Regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Cachar Paper Mill and Nagaon Paper Mill revival reply to PM Modi’s ‘local’ call

Restarting factories critical to achieving self-reliance: Worker union

Rokibuz Zaman Guwahati Published 13.05.20, 10:08 PM
The Cachar Paper Mill compound

The Cachar Paper Mill compound Telegraph picture

The Cachar Paper Project Workers’ Union, in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the nation to be “vocal about local”, on Wednesday drew his attention towards the revival of two paper mills in Assam.

The Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon district have been non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017 and the employees have not received their salaries for 36 and 34 months respectively.

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Writing to the Prime Minister a day after he stressed on the importance of promoting “local” products for the country to achieve economic self-reliance, the union’s president, Manobendra Chakraborty, agreed that local and national industries were the only option to rebuild the economy and make India self-reliant.

“In his address to the nation on Tuesday, the Prime Minister spoke of revamping and reviving local industries to overcome the economic disaster brought upon the country by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this context, we invite his sincere attention to the fact that two heavy paper mills under Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) are non-functional in Assam while India is importing paper from countries like China and South Korea to meet huge domestic requirement at the cost of forex reserve,” Chakraborty said.

He said the HPC owns around 2,000 acres of land, is a brand name and has market chains with sustainable stabilities. Most importantly, it has the capacity to provide employment to two lakh people and boost the rural economy through bamboo cultivation, harvesting and supply systems.

“Unfortunately, for the past few years, the fate of HPC is locked under the impractical procedure of IBC-2016 only for a vendor’s claim of Rs 98 lakh. As a result, despite its huge assets and potential, its mills remain non-functional, seriously impacting the economy. Moreover, it cannot be ruled out that attempts are on to sell its huge assets at throwaway prices, which would be a national loss,” Chakraborty said.

He said in keeping with the Prime Minister’s stress on “local” to make India self-reliant, it is necessary to revive the mills which have tremendous potential to boost employment generation and economic growth and reduce the import of paper.

The mail was also sent to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Prakash Javadekar, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

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