Editorial

ICU off NPPCL

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/7/2019 12:19:18 PM IST

 After all the efforts made by the state government for decades, to revive the state’s only big industry, the Tuli Paper Mills, the UPA government gave the nod for the revival package under the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) and for which a capital outlay of Rs 552.44 crores was approved in 2006. The revival plan consisted of rebuilding/re-furbishment of paper machine, pulping mill, new power plant etc. The Government of India had allocated Rs 100 crore to HPC, as part of revival plan, but only Rs 33 crore was allotted to Nagaland Pulp & Paper Company Ltd.(NPPCL). The amount proved too meagre to clear the pending dues to the vendors and arrears as salary of the paper mill’s employees. Unfortunately, the same problems that had caused a premature death in 1993 has come into play to ensure that the mill relapse into its second and perhaps final death. One of the various reasons for the death sentence, was fund diversion by the Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL), in violation of standing government orders. This was pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in its report released in August 2018. The mill was established mainly due to the efforts of Naga pioneer officers who wanted to usher in industrialisation in a positive manner. The Tuli Paper Mill in fact, a peace packages after the signing of the first cease fire on September 6,1964 with a share equity of 7:1 between the government of India and the state government respectively. The ambitious Tuli paper mill, is a joint venture with the Hindustan Paper Corporation established in 1971. When it was envisioned, the paper mill was to be among the few with the best of technology and had the potential of producing 60,000 MT per annum. However, in the mill could hardly produce 1/6th of the installed capacity when it begun production sometime during the late 70s. BIFR was set up in January 1987 by the Rajiv Gandhi government, but it was dissolved on December 1, 2016 by the Modi government which referred proceedings to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) as per provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The best that has so far come out of the paper mill is not the end product but the raw material called bamboo chips that are cut by chipper machines. It is learnt that the chips are transported to other paper mills in Assam on the plea that since the Tuli Paper Mill is not yet functional. It means that revival of Tuli Paper Mill has been translated into supplying bamboo chips to other paper mills. Now, with the board of directors of HPC having been recently dissolved and taken over by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), there is likelihood of the corporation being sold to a recognised bidder in order to clear the corporation’s accumulated dues, including those of NPPCL. HPC, has already referred the matter to NCLT to consider for closure. When this was mooted, it was reported that the State government’s representative in the board had not confronted HPC . Whether this is true or not, the fact remains that the mill is likely to be sold as scrap or handed over to a private investor in keeping with the central government’s thrust for sick PSUS.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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