RTI reveals “incorrect” statement on HPCL investment

GUWAHATI: A reply to the Right to Information (RTI) application has revealed that the Union minister of heavy industries and public enterprises, Arvind G Sawant had “incorrectly” stated that an investment of Rs 4,141 crore was made in Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd (HPCL) during 2014-15 to 2017-18.

According to information furnished by the Union ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises, an amount of Rs 509.66 crore only was released during the four-year period as assistance to the company, which is way below the amount mentioned in the Lok Sabha by the minister on July 9, 2019.

A sum of Rs 292.72 crore was released in financial year 2014-15, Rs 93.96 crore in 2015-16, Rs 82.96 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 40 crore in 2017-2019, the letter addressed to the RTI applicant, Dipak Chandra Nath of HPCL, Panchgram, stated.

It may be mentioned that the Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd Officers and Supervisors Association had earlier appealed to the Centre to investigate the “big mismatch” between the investment made in HPCL during the years 2014-15 to 2017-18 and the assistance received by the company during that period.

Hindustan Paper Corporation is a public sector undertaking having only two units – Nagaon Paper Mill (NPM) and Cachar Paper Mill (CPM) in Assam.

Production in Cachar Paper Mill has been suspended since October 20, 2015, while operations at Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad came to a halt on March 13, 2017.

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