All is not lost for Tuli paper mill as Niti Aayog offers hope - Eastern Mirror
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All is not lost for Tuli paper mill as Niti Aayog offers hope

By Mirror Desk Updated: Jul 17, 2018 11:13 pm

Dimapur, July 17 (EMN): The news about the imminent closure of the Nagaland Pulp and Paper Company Ltd., (NPPCL) at Tuli in Mokokchung district made headlines in a section of the local media on Tuesday.

The government of Nagaland has asserted that the Niti Aayog has assured that the paper mill shall not be shut down. The National Institution for Transforming India (Niti) Aayog is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is the premier policy ‘think tank’ of the government of India providing both direction and policy inputs.

The state’s commissioner-secretary of Industries Lithrongla G Chishi told Eastern Mirror that during the Niti Aayog’s meeting on May 14 this year, the state’s government was assured that ‘the NPPCL will not be closed down.’

Chishi informed that the government of Nagaland was ‘earnestly pursuing’ the matter with the government of India. She said that the chief minister of Nagaland had personally written to the prime minister and that the matter was explained by the chief secretary during the Niti Aayog’s meeting.

Also speaking to Eastern Mirror, the advisor to Industries, Imnatiba, said that the state’s government had appealed to the central government to revive the paper mill. He said that the Centre was also ‘very serious’ about the revival of the factory; the Niti Ayog also understands the state government’s stance on its need to revive the mill.

“Unless and until all options are exhausted, the paper mill will not be shut down,” said Imnatiba during a telephonic conversation on Tuesday. “We (state government) are doing our level best and our stance is that this lone industry should be revamped and revived.”

The advisor disclosed that the Niti Aayog was of the opinion that the NPPCL should “disassociate/decouple” from the Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd (HPCL) after the state government had pointed out ‘mismanagement and diversion of funds by the HPCL.’ He said that the vice chairman of Niti Aayog was supposed to visit the paper mill and ‘see the condition.’

“Had he come, then it would have been very good because we could have sat down together and discussed everything,” the advisor said.

Saying that the state government is very ‘dissatisfied and frustrated’ with the HPCL, he said that the government of India had sanctioned funds for the factory’s revival on two occasions but the HPCL allegedly ‘diverted and mismanaged’ it.

Although the state’s government is very upset with the HPCL, Imnatiba said, it is not easy to ‘divorce’ the NPCCL from the HPCL because a memorandum of understanding was signed, during the establishment of the Tuli paper mill. Further, he said, the state government also needs to consult with experts, he said.

The mill was set up in 1971. It is a joint venture of Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and government of Nagaland. The paper mill has stopped operating since August 2015.

Without a single heavy industry besides a glaring and rising unemployment index in Nagaland, the closure of the NPPCL will be a huge economic blow to the state government. Now with the reported assurance by the Niti Aayog, headed by the prime minister, all eyes are on the government of India. The political acumen of the state government will now be tested to the hilt.


By Mirror Desk Updated: Jul 17, 2018 11:13:47 pm