Stop HPC paper mills’ auction, Assam Cong urges PM
With the threat of auction of two non-functional paper mills looming, the Assam Congress has sought the Prime Minister’s intervention for withdrawal of the auction notice regarding the sale of the mills owned by Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC).
Assam PCC president Ripun Bora, in a letter, urged the Prime Minister to immediately explore the comprehensive plan to revive the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills, earlier formulated but pending approval, and help the Assam government revive the mills, much like the successful takeover of the unit of Hindustan Newsprint Limited by the Kerala government.
“There is every possibility that the Assam government can protect these two public sector undertakings, in the light of the Kerala government to honour their commitments to the people of Assam, and in this regard, the government of India may please assist the Assam government,” Bora wrote in the letter.
The Rajya Sabha MP pointed out that it was for the fourth time that he wrote a letter to the office of Prime Minister since 2018 regarding provision of a special economic package to revive the two paper mills of Assam “which have been closed down without any proper notice.”
“While acknowledging my letters by your office it was assured that the matter would be looked into properly and we people in Assam were in great hope that the two paper mills will be revived soon,” he stated.
The APCC president further said that former finance minister Arun Jaitley and incumbent finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also assured to revive these mills “and that the interest of Assam will not be allowed to be compromised at any cost.”
He further pointed out that the BJP had committed to revive the paper mills during the election campaigns in Assam, be it during 2014, 2016, 2019 even in recently concluded Assembly polls.
The APCC president also stated that the employees of the two paper mills have not been paid their salaries since the mills have become non-functional while many have died for want of medical treatment.
“Considering the present condition and pandemic situation, you are requested to please release all the outstanding salaries, allowances and other dues to the employees and officers of the two paper mills without further delay,” he stated.
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)
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