Paper mill faces insolvency

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has ordered commencement of a corporate insolvency resolution process against Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL), apparently putting thousands of workers of the two paper mills in Assam, including those of Cachar Paper Mill in Barak Valley, in dire straits.

By Swapnaneel Bhattacharjee in Silchar
  • Published 30.06.18
  •  

Silchar: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has ordered commencement of a corporate insolvency resolution process against Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL), apparently putting thousands of workers of the two paper mills in Assam, including those of Cachar Paper Mill in Barak Valley, in dire straits.

The tribunal, a quasi-judicial body under the Centre, adjudicates issues related to Indian companies. It was established under the Companies Act, 2013, and constituted on June 1, 2016, by the Centre.

A senior official of HPCL on Friday said they had received a notice from the tribunal on Thursday afternoon. "This came as a shocker. We are worried about the mill's fate," he said.

All creditors of HPCL, including the employees, will have to submit proofs of their claims (dues) by July 10 to interim resolution professional Kuldeep Verma, who will prepare a report and submit to the NCLT on July 16. The matter of clearance of dues would be settled after that, he said.

Manabendra Chakraborty, president of the Cachar Paper Projects Workers' Union, alleged that the government never wanted the mill to be functional and did not initiate steps for its revival. Similar has been the government's attitude over Nagaon Paper Mill.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his poll campaign in 2014 here, had assured that the mill would be revived if the BJP came to power. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, too, had echoed the Prime Minister during the Namami Barak festival here. All these were nothing but hogwash," he said.

He said HPCL was tagged "insolvent" as the creditors had complained about their dues to the tribunal around seven months ago and urged it to resolve the matter.

"The step is the final nail in the coffin for both the mills," Chakraborty said. He demanded that all pending salaries of the mill employees be cleared and the mill be revived at the earliest.

Assam BJP spokesperson Rajdeep Roy said he had rece-ived the information on Thur-sday night, but he is not aware of all aspects of the matter.

"It can be an initiative to start the mills on a new note. But all the things of the past have to be settled first," he added.

Congress MLA from Karimganj North Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha said the government has proved that it does not care about the mill workers at all.