Guwahati, June 15: The Assam government will release a financial package of Rs 500 crore for the employees of the two closed paper mills in Nagaon and Cachar in Assam by June 30.
Making the announcement on the concluding day of the Assam BJP state executive at Diphu in Karbi Anglong district today, Assam chief minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The state will release a financial package of Rs 500 crore to the workers and employees of the two paper mills by June 30 to provide relief to the workers and reward their years of hard work.”
“In other words, every employee will receive their pending dues in their bank accounts by June 30. The workers of the mills have, during the interim, been deprived of their dues and have gone through a lot of financial hardships owing to the closure of the mills.
The Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon have been non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017 respectively.
The employees of the two paper mills have not been paid salaries for the past 64 months.
Meanwhile, the death toll of workers of the two mills has gone up to 106 with an ailing employee of the Cachar Paper Mill passing away on Monday. A majority of the workers have been unable to afford proper medical treatment owing to financial crisis.
The Assam government had earlier this year taken over the assets of the paper mills at Jagiroad and Panchgram with Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) declared as the successful bidder.
Earlier, a general relief package of Rs 700 crore, which includes settlement of various outstanding dues of employees and workers of HPCL’s assets at the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills, was offered by the government.
An agreement was signed between the representatives of officers and supervisors’ associations and workers’ unions of the HPCL (in liquidation) and the Assam government.
The relief package of Rs 700 crore was accorded approval in the Cabinet meeting held on September 30, 2021.
Although the Assam government had no stake in the paper mills which were owned by Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited, it has been relentlessly pursuing to resolve the matter on humanitarian grounds.