Regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Congress prods Modi on paper mills in Assam

PCC supports call to the nation to be self-reliant and consume and use Indian-made goods in letter to Prime Minister

A Staff Reporter Guwahati Published 15.05.20, 07:57 PM
The premises of the Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district.

The premises of the Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district. Picture by Swapnaneel Bhattacharjee

The Opposition Congress has asked the Centre to revive the two defunct paper mills in Assam, reminding it of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent pitch for a self-reliant country and to “be vocal for local”.

Assam PCC president Ripun Bora wrote to Modi on Thursday saying he supported his call to the nation on May 12 to be self-reliant and consume and use Indian-made goods.


Bora said in Modi’s speech it was clear that using and consuming Indian products was one of his strategies to revive the economy which has been badly affected by the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

“In view of this I urge upon you to restart the closed two paper mills of Assam so that we can be self-reliant, we can produce paper locally and at the same time save thousands and thousands of employees and their families,” Bora wrote. He told the media on Friday that Modi’s earlier Make in India call did not help in reviving the two mills.

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 respectively, and is a cause of major embarrassment for the ruling BJP-led dispensation which had stormed to power in 2016 on the slogan of protecting the jati, mati, bheti of the locals.

The Congress’s letter comes two days after Cachar Paper Project Workers Union had moved Modi for revival of the indigenous paper industry for employment generation and revamp the rural economy to make India self-reliant.

Latching on to his address to the nation where Modi pitched the “be vocal about local” line, the union said to rebuild the “ruined economy”, the only option was to revive and encourage local industries and enterprise.

The union said the mills, spread over nearly 2,000 acres, were a well-established brand and market chain and provided employment to two lakh people. Union president Manobendra Chakraborty said they wanted Modi to live up to his commitment of reviving local industries by stopping import of paper from China and South Korea to meet the domestic demand by making the mills functional.

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