JAGIROAD, May 11 - The Nagaon Paper Mill Suraksha Mancha (NPMSM) – a public body formed to play an active role in saving the public sector unit paper mill at Jagiroad has urged Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take suitable practical measures to save the Nagaon Paper Mill (NPM) at Jagiroad in Morigaon district along with the Cachar Paper Mill (CPM) at Panchgram in Hailakandi district without delay.
Welcoming the Chief Minister’s assurance at New Delhi regarding the reopening of the mills, the Mancha recorded the acute hardships that the employees of the Mills are undergoing presently due to the accumulated pending salaries for nearly 27 months at a stretch.
Signed by the top office-bearers of the agitating bodies under the Suraksha Mancha namely, All Assam Tribal Youth League, All Assam Tiwa Students’ Union, Morigaon unit of Asam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, Adivasi Chatra Santha and Morigaon unit of Gorkha Chatra Santha, the statement pointed out that in the year 2017-18, the Central government incurred an expenditure of Rs 9000 crore in purchasing imported printing papers while it showed no interest to restart production of papers at its own mills which for renovation hardly need a fund of Rs 1,900 crore, said Atanu Sarma, chief adviser, Nagaon Paper Mill Suraksha Mancha at a press meet held here on Friday.
The Cachar Paper Mill Workers’ Union (CPMWU) also on May 7 last by a memorandum requested the Chief Minister to take the best possible steps for reviving the HPC paper industries of the State. In the memorandum, on behalf of the Union, the president of the union Manobendra Chakraborty pointed out how the Kerala government has pleaded to take over the Hindustan News Print Limited (HNL) – a holding company of the HPC limited to save the industry there. The Assam government may also follow the same path in order to rescue the mills of the HPC over here – the memorandum stated. In the memorandum, the president of the body regretted that the paper mills in Assam having asset value of approximately Rs 5000 crore are being considered for liquidation just for a matter of settlement of claims worth a meagre Rs 98 lakh.
Significantly in the memorandum, the employees’ body said that in return of reviving the mills, if required, the employees of the two mills would offer to sacrifice a part of their accumulated salary dues to settle the claims of Rs 98 lakh for the creditors as required under the provisions of the recent NCLT verdict.