HPC Mills panel urges Assam CM to take legal recourse

GUWAHATI: The Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) Mills Revival Action Committee has appealed to the Assam government to approach the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) and take legal recourse in a month’s time if at all it was serious about reviving the two paper mills in the state.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had after deliberations in Delhi assured to revive the Cachar and Nagaon paper mills of HPCL, and if necessary take legal help.

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.

“The government has time and again made promises to revive the mills but to no avail. Here I would like to appeal to our chief minister that he should take a cue from the Kerala government which had filed a petition at NCLAT to stop a subsidiary of HPCL from going into liquidation,” Manobendra Chakraborty, chief convener of committee, told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.

Employees of the mills have for the past 28 months not been paid their salaries and other dues. Fifty five employees have so far lost their lives, with three allegedly committing suicide after failing to cope with the trauma any longer.

“We therefore request the state government to pay the amount (Rs 98lakh), if necessary from our pending dues, to the appellate authority and save the mills from going into liquidation,” Chakraborty said.

He further urged the chief minister not to misguide the people of Assam and instead be purposeful in regard to revival of the mills at the earliest.

Currently, the two mills have about 1200 direct employees in its payrolls while several thousands more are indirectly engaged in the operations.

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