Fresh plea in NCLT seeking liquidation of two closed paper mills in Assam
The plea comes days after the Assam government sought a month’s time to revive the two paper mills.Updated: Sep 20, 2020, 20:21 IST
The liquidator for the state-run Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) has submitted a fresh plea in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking liquidation of the corporation’s two closed paper mills in Assam.
The fresh application was filed by Kuldeep Verma, liquidator for HPCL, before NCLT’s Bench-II in New Delhi on September 14 - four days after Assam government sent a letter to Verma seeking a month’s time for revival of the closed mills and clearances of all due of employees and workers.
Production at HPCL’s Cachar Paper Mill (CPM) closed on October 20, 2015 while the Nagaon Paper Mill (NPM) has remained closed since March 13, 2017. Nearly 1,200 employees of both the mills have not received salaries for over two years.
The matter of liquidation of the two paper mills has been pending with NCLT. The final hearing in the case is slated for Monday.
“It would be expedient and in the interest of all stakeholders for the assets of the corporate debtor (HPCL) to be liquidated so as to maximize the realization for distribution among the stakeholders as per law,” the application stated.
“The applicant is, in the aforesaid facts, filing the present application praying for issuance of directions permitting the liquidator to proceed with liquidation of the corporate debtor HPCL in accordance with law,” it added.
The application mentioned that all “sincere efforts” for revival of the paper mills “have not yielded any positive result” and granting any further time would not be as per legal provisions or earlier decisions of the Supreme Court on the matter.
It was stated that huge expenses are being incurred on a monthly basis towards security charges, insurance premium, essential services for basic upkeep of the paper mills and townships etc. and the same is detrimental to the interest of the stakeholders.
On September 10, the Assam government had written a letter to Verma seeking a month’s time to revive the mills.
“Government of Assam has always taken a stand that the closed HPCL mills must be revived at the earliest. Due to closure of the mills, over thousands of workers and employees have been rendered jobless. Local economy has also got severely affected,” the letter stated.
“Kindly take up the matter with NCLT to grant one month’s time as the state government is making sincere efforts and pursuing the matter with the central government for revival of the closed mills and clearances of all dues of employees and workers,” it added.