During the ‘Zero Hour Notice’ in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Congress MP from Assam Ripun Bora raised the issue of the state’s two paper mills under Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL).
“The Jagiroad Paper Mill and the Panchgram Paper Mill were running successfully with earning profits for the last four decades but unfortunately, due to mismanagement of the central government, these paper mills are incurring loss since 2014. Under this pretext, the heavy industry ministry closed down the two paper mills,” Bora said.
Bora, while making aware of the paper mills to the Speaker said that there are nearly 8,000 direct employees and over 20,000 were employed indirectly there.
“However, due to the closure of the two mills, the future of these employees and their families have been forced to uncertainty,” the MP added.
He further informed the House that the employees of both the mills have not received their salaries for years.
“The government has not taken any alternative for the absorption of these employees. Moreover, eight employees committed suicide out of frustration failing to maintain their families,” Bora said.
Adding further he said, “It is unfortunate that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s numerous public assurances of reviving the mills with special packages, nothing has been done so far.”
“The two PSUs are the heart of Assam as the entire people of the state are emotionally attached with these two paper mills,” said Bora.
“But it was surprising that the industry minister in the Lok Sabha on July 9 while replying to some queries said that during 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 funds of Rs 4,141 crores have been given to these paper mills,” he added.
The MP also demanded the immediate revival of the paper mills.