The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Wednesday directed the liquidator of Assam’s two paper mills to approach the government for a revival package and release the workers’ pending salaries.
The court’s direction to Kuldeep Verma, who has been appointed to conduct the liquidation process of the two mills, came at a hearing on an appeal filed by Cachar Paper Project Workers’ Union on May 27, challenging the liquidation order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
Cachar Paper Project Workers’ Union president Manabendra Chakraborty, who was present at the hearing, told The Telegraph from New Delhi that the court also ordered that the service of the mills should continue as going concern (running units) and their employees/workers should attend their duties as usual. The court also said that if the liquidation is carried out at all, a third party should be involved in the process, Chakraborty, who is also the chief convener of HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee, said.
A senior official of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited confirmed the order.
The two mills, Cachar Paper Mill and Nagaon Paper Mill, have been lying non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017 respectively. Their workers have not received salaries for more than two-and-a-half years.
The NCLT ordered their liquidation on May 2 this year.
Cachar Paper Mill, the only major industrial undertaking in south Assam’s Barak Valley, is located at Panchgram in Hailakandi district, around 24km from here. Nagaon Paper Mill is located at Jagiroad in Morigaon district, around 332km from here.
Dipak Chandra Nath, another convener of the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee, a conglomerate of workers’ unions of the two paper mills in Assam, said the government should prioritise the matter and initiate necessary measures to make the industrial units functional and remit the pending salaries.
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal was constituted under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013, for hearing appeals against the orders of NCLT, with effect from June 1, 2016.
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