Assam govt made efforts for revival of defunct paper mills

Assam Government has made efforts for revival of the two defunct public sector paper mills in the state by taking the matter up with the Centre but a case in the NCLT has stalled its attempts, Industry minister Chandra Mohan Patowary told the Assembly on Friday.

Replying to question of Mamun Imdadul Haque Chawdhury of AIUDF, Patowary said even though the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills are not under its purview, the state government had made efforts for their revival.

The government had written to the Centre and the chief minister and had sent letters to the Centre and met the Union Industry and Heavy Industry minister seeking a revival package for Cachar and Nagaon paper mills, he said.

However, the efforts got stalled following a case filed by a raw material supplying vendor of the paper mill at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in June 2018, when corporate resolution process was started, he informed the House.

At the end of the stipulated 270 days, the tribunal on May 2 this year ordered for liquidation of the Hindustan Paper Corporation mill at Jagiroad, he added.

On the HPC workers appeal before the tribunal for reconsideration of its order, the NCLT declared HPC as "Going on concern" whereby its employees, assets and liabilities would be explained under the company law to the third party.

Several third parties had evinced interest in the paper mill and visited the site, too.

The only interested BRS Group and the Central government, however, did not submit their revised resolution plan till the last hearing in the tribunal on November 25.

"Only learnt through the media that due to the expiry of the stipulated time frame, the NCLT ordered for starting of liquidation process of the paper mill", the minister said.

However, there has been no communication in this connection among the concerned Union ministry, NCLT and state government, Patowary said, adding, that the state government will continue to take up the matter with the Centre.

The AIUDF MLA claimed that due to the acute financial problem faced by the two lakh employees of the two mills, 60 workers lost their life due to their inability to pay for their medical treatment and three took the extreme step of suicide.