The officers and supervisors of PSU firm Hindustan Paper Corp's Cachar and Nagaon paper mills today requested the government to revive the units immediately by pumping in about Rs 900 crore.
"The Nagaon unit's last production day was March 13 this year with an output of 270 tonnes against an installed capacity of 300 tonnes a day. If we keep the unit more non- functional, the investment to revive it will be higher," Nagaon Paper Mill (NPM) Officers and Supervisors' Association President Hemanta Kakati said at a press conference here.
The production at Cachar Paper Mill has been stopped since October 2015, he added.
"If the government provides Rs 900 crore, then both the units can start functioning immediately. Out of these, Rs 500 crore will be required for paying the pending dues and salaries to the staff and Rs 400 crore as working capital for both Nagaon and Cachar units," Kakati said.
The total liabilities, including vendors' payments, of the two factories currently stands at Rs 1,400 crore, he said.
The two units have a total staff strength of around 1,500 and installed capacities of one lakh tonnes each per annum.
"If the government delays the revival plan even by six months further, then Rs 2,000 crore will also not be sufficient," Kakati said, adding the two units were profitable and were producing more than their installed capacities.
Informing about the sad state of affairs among the staff, NPM Officers' & Supervisors' Association Vice President Atul Mahanta claimed already two persons at Nagaon and one at Cachar have committed suicides due to dire financial crisis.
"Cachar staff have not got salaries since October 2016, while those at Nagaon are not paid since December last year. People are living in severe financial hardship and future uncertainties," he added.
Mahanta said 30 students could not take admissions this year in Nagaon as their parents were unable to pay fees.
"We all belong to the APL (above poverty line) category. To help us in our crisis, the local MLA had to write to the DC to consider us in the BPL (below poverty line) category so that our children can take admissions free of cost. What can be more unfortunate than this?" he asked with a face of gloom.
Mahanta also said many employees, who had taken bank loans to buy vehicles and homes, are defaulting now and have received notices from the financial institutions, thereby generating fear of legal actions against them.
"If the government does not revive these two units, economy of North East will suffer a lot as over two lakh indirect employment opportunities will disappear. The government's Make in India and Act East Policy will become futile. No big unit will come here again," he said.