The Nagaland Pulp and Paper Company Limited (NPPCL), a subsidiary of the Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) was incorporated on 14th September 1971 and was the only heavy industry in Nagaland. As per official records, it was a joint venture with the government of India holding 95% share and Government of Nagaland holding 5% share. Commercial production in NPPCL started in July 1982. However, due to lack of power supply and continued operating losses, the paper mill suspended its operational activities from October 1992 onwards.



The Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) approved the revival of NPPCL in 2007 with a package for total reconstruction at a cost of Rs.552.44 crore, which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), Government of India.



Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio had on July 2 2019 written to the Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Arvind Ganpat Sawant, that a revival scheme aimed at enhancing the output capacity of the paper mill with a capital infusion of Rs.487 crores along with non-cash adjustment of Rs.225 crores for restructuring its assets and liabilities was under consideration of the Government of India. Unfortunately, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCTL) ordered liquidation of the Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd. (HPC), of which the Tuli Paper Mill is a subsidiary.



The mill has seen several revival plans over the years, but none has managed to revitalize Nagaland’s lone heavy industry unit. In 2013, the government is said to have released Rs.100 crores to the Chairman cum Managing Director of HPCL out of which Rs.60 crore was “diverted to other heads for their vested interest resulting in total stoppage of rehabilitation of NPPCL,” as per reports. In 2018, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found that more than half of the fund meant for the mill’s revival was diverted by HPCL and adjudged this as “improper conduct” which adversely affected implementation of the mill’s revival plan.



It is interesting to note here that HPCL’s mills in Assam – Cachar Paper Mill, Panchgram and Nagaon Paper Mill, Jagiroad – are also under similar fate. What is contrasting, however, is that the Assam government has announced that it 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 them.



Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has declared that every employee of the two mills in that state will receive their pending dues in their bank accounts. It is in this context that the Government of Nagaland is also expected to do everything in its power to help the employees and pensioners of NPPCL who are suffering for no fault of theirs.



The public must also understand the plight of the employees of the Tuli Paper Mill, as it is more commonly known, and support their demand for a “one time settlement” now that reviving the mill is out of the question.



Mokokchung Times

One thought on “A sad ending – Tuli Paper Mill”
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