March 16, 2017
Vivek Gupta speaks on alleged reports of shifting HQ of Hindustan Paper Corporation from Kolkata to Guwahati
Thank you for giving me an opportunity today. Sir, recently, some employees of a public sector undertaking, Hindustan Paper Corporation came to my office in Kolkata and met me. They have a grievance that their headquarters which is located in Kolkata is being shifted to Guwahati. When I asked them what are the reasons for shifting, they said they had no idea.
Sir, fortunately, one week later we had a meeting of the Industry Committee where Hindustan Paper Corporation had come to press further demand for grants. There, Sir, the situation became more mysterious because the MD told us that the plant in Assam is shut down because of the lack of raw material, coal and everything, which is abundantly available in Bengal and yet they want to shift the headquarters.
When the MD was asked why they wanted to shift, he had no idea. On coaxing by the Committee, he told that they have been given some incentives by the Central Government to shift.
Sir, I do not understand why is the Central Government giving incentives to a central public sector company to shift the headquarters from Kolkata to Assam. Is it just because that the political colours of Assam have changed? Or it is something else, I would like to know from the Government through you, Sir.
Sir, Hindustan Paper Corporation is a very prestigious company; it is a very old company. It manufactures paper which is used for textbooks for children. But the NITI AYOG and DIPAM have recommended closure and shutdown. I do not want to go into their judgment, but when I asked the Industry Secretary, they are saying that they have not made any such recommendations and in fact they are trying to revive and if they receive a little bit cooperation from the Government, this company can be revived. All the workers who are not getting their dues for the last two years will start getting their dues and this company can do very well.
Sir, through you, I want to know from the Government, firstly, what is the rationale of giving subsidies to shift the headquarters? Is it just political or not, otherwise, the employees who are working at the headquarters will face immense hardship. Sir, some of them have retired parents, some of them have homes. Sir, I do not understand the rationale. Kolkata has a port, a lot of important machineries is done through Kolkata port. Kolkata is a major metro. I do not understand what is the advantage they will get by shifting to Guwahati, which I would like to know from the Government, through you Sir.