Guwahati, March 28: After long and sustained efforts, dialogues and meetings, Assam Government has finally taken over the assets of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) Nagaon at Jagiroad under Morigaon District; Cachar Paper Mill, Panchgram under Hailakandi District today.
The Assam Industrail Development Corporation (AIDC) was declared as the successful bidder today. On behalf of Government of Assam, AIDC has taken over the assets of Nagaon and Cachar paper mills.
Adil Khan, MD, AIDC and Moloy Ranjan Thakur, authorized person of official liquidator Kuldeep Verma signed an understanding in presence of Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of Industries, Commerce and Public Enterprises Department and Principal Secretary Dr. KK Dwivedi at Nagaon Paper Mill, Jagiroad today. In the meantime, a team of AIDC officials has also taken over the assets of Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram today.
Although Government of Assam had no stake in the paper mills, the State Government has been relentlessly pursuing to resolve the matter on humanitarian grounds. After the initiative of Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Government of Assam offered a general relief package of Rs. 700 crores. The package included settlement of various outstanding dues of employees and workers of HPCL’s assets at Nagaon and Cachar paper mills.
An agreement was signed between the representatives of officers and supervisors’ associations and workers unions of the HPC Limited (in liquidation) and the Government of Assam. The relief package of Rs. 700 crores was accorded approval in the cabinet meeting held on September 30, 2021.
The nodal agency for this matter, Assam Industrial Development Corporation Limited (AIDC), had participated in the e-auction process of all the assets, plant, technical area, township area of Nagaon and Cachar paper mills pursuant to public announcement on February 26, 2022 at a reserve price of Rs. 375 crores.
The Government of Assam has paid the amount of Rs, 375 crores and will be distributed by the liquidator as per the norms of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016. The remaining amount of Rs. 700 crores will be utilized in clearing the dues of employees and workers of HPC.
Government of Assam also plans to develop the land to promote industrial and economic activities to accelerate the growth of the region.
Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary thanked Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for his generosity, kindness and expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders that after a long pending and perplexed issue has been finally resolved. ‘The amount will immensely help and benefit all the employees, workers of Nagaon and Cachar paper mills and their families’, added Patowary.
The land area of the paper mill at Nagaon Paper Mill is 1765 bigha, 33 katha and 24 lessa. Land area of Cachar Paper Mill is 2916 bigha, 1 katha and 7 lessa. Total land area of both the paper mills are 4681 bigha, 34 katha and 17 lessa.
The Nagaon Paper Mill and Cachar Paper Mill had been non-operational since October 2017 and March 2015 respectively and under liquidation proceedings on account of non-clearance of dues of financial and operational creditors as per the order of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Delhi dated 25.11.2019.