Congress MP Ripun Bora on Wednesday has raised the issue of two paper mills in Assam under Hindustan Paper Corporation during the ‘Zero Hour Notice’ in the Rajya Sabha.
Bora said that the Jagiroad Paper Mill and 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. On this pretext, the Heavy Industry Ministry of Government of India has closed down the two paper mills.
Bora, while making aware of the paper mills to the Speaker said that there are nearly 8,000 direct employees and more than 20,000 have got indirect employment in the paper mills but due to the closure of it, the future of 8,000 employees and their families and the families of 20,000 indirect employees are now passing sleepless nights with uncertainty in their future.
Bora also said that the employees of both the paper mills have not been paid their salaries since three years and that the government has not taken any alternative for the absorption of these employees. Meanwhile, eight employees have committed suicide out of frustration failing to maintain their families.
It is also very unfortunate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi also publicly assured the people of Assam in a number of occasions not to close down the two paper mills and said that it will be revived with the special package which has not yet done.
Ripun Bora further stated that the two PSUs are the heart of Assam as the entire people of the state are emotionally attached with these two paper mills. 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 Rs. 4,141 crores of fund have been given to this paper mills.
Bora demands a CBI inquiry into the matter as to where these huge amounts of fund have gone and if the funds have been sanctioned why the paper mills are lying closed leaving behind the future of thousands of employees at stake.
Bora further demanded the government for immediate revival of the two paper mills in Cachar and Nowgong.