Union Ministry decides to approach for closure
Kohima, September 18: Despite rigorous efforts to revive Tuli Paper Mill, there is no progress while the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries has decided to approach the Cabinet for closure of the only heavy industry in Nagaland.
Replying to a starred question raised by Opposition MLA, Dr. Imtiwapang Aier in the State Assembly today, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that as of date, there is no progress in the revival of Tuli Paper Mill.
Rio, who is also the minister in-charge of Industries & Commerce Department, informed the house that Department of Heavy Industries Secretary convened a meeting on March 21 last to decide on future course of action on Nagaland Pulp & Paper Company (NPPC) Ltd.
Decision was that a Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs note for closure of NPPC be prepared expeditiously by Department of Heavy Industries.
Stating thereafter on May 14 last, NITI Aayog convened a meeting with Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC), DHI and Chief Secretary Nagaland, Rio informed the House that the first phase of revival process started with the production of bamboo chips, with the release of Rs. 100 crore on September 19, 2013 to HPC by the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Department of Heavy Industries.
He informed that the state has also provided its equity share amounting to Rs. 23 crore in two installments of Rs. 12 crore in 2014-15 and Rs. 11 crore in 2015-16.
Out of the Rs. 100 crore sanctioned for the NPPC Ltd. Rs. 60 crore was diverted by the HPC and the Government of Nagaland had to infuse a loan of Rs. 1.2 crore for payment of salaries to prevent serious law and order situation, Rio said adding that payment of salaries & wages is pending since July 2017.
Rio also stated that in connection to the diversion of fund by HPC and revival and rehabilitation of NPPC, numerous letters have been issued by the Chief Ministers of Nagaland to the Government of India.
Rio also tabled at least four letters written by former Chief Minister T R Zeliang during 2015 and 2016 requesting for revival of the Tuli Paper Mill.
The latest letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was written by Rio on April 6 last.
Through the letter Rio apprised the PM that, “Unfortunately, the NPPCL has been non-operational since 1992”.
“However, after various efforts, a revival package was approved in 2003 amounting to Rs 489 crores. This package could not, however, materialize till date in spite of constant pressure from the Government of Nagaland. It is now learnt that as per the decision in a meeting on March 21, 2018 under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India, it has been decided to approach the Cabinet for closure of the mill,” he said.
In this regard, Rio through the letter requested the PM’s intervention so that efforts can be made for revival of NPPCL Tuli and not for closure.
Also conveying the knowledge of Government of India has plans to revive HPC, Rio said, “It would be unfair to leave out NPPCL Tuli, the only heavy industry in Nagaland”. (Page News Service)