Textile Ministry has decided to close down six (6) jute mills of the Bengal and Bihar-based state-run PSU National Jute Manufacturers Corporation (NJMC) and its subsidiary Bird Jute Exports Limited (BJEL).
Of them five are in Bengal – Kinnison, Khardah, Alexandra, Union and National and one in Bihar – RBHM.
In its monthly summary, the Ministry said the “in principle’’ approval to close down all NJMC mills was taken in pursuance of NITI Aayog’s recommendation. When contacted NJMC, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), K Bhaduri said “ we have no clue on the decision. We have only been informed of it’’.
Earlier on 15 December 2015 Cabinet (CCEA) and Textile Ministry decided to run 3 NJMC mills – Kinnison and Khardah jute in Bengal and RBHM in Bihar and close down the remaining Bengal based units like National, Alexandra and Union jute. NJMC would also be provided with interest free loans.
Speaking to Millennium Post, Jute Commissioner and former CMD of NJMC Subrata Gupta said, “I am aware of the decision but have no idea why it was taken. I can only recall that at one stage NJMC’s application for relief undertaking was rejected. The units were also closed for eight months.
The 2015 decision was only a reiteration of an earlier Cabinet decision of 2010’’. Before closure the units
were run with daily casual labourers.
In 2011 Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced Rs 40-crore relief package for Khardah and Kinnison and decided to waive sales tax dues of Rs 39.43 crore alongside outstanding loans and interest payments of Rs 12.03 crore and electricity duty of Rs 2.34 crore. Bengal had also proposed to waive stamp duty of Rs 35.06 crore on the sale of excess land of around 185.6 acres valued at around Rs 506.86 crore.
Operating agency IDBI also proposed Rs 88.06 crore state relief for reviving Kinnison and Khardah. IDBI adopted an eight pronged approach to revive NJMC units that included liquidation of secured and unsecured assets and statutory arrear dues and accepts reliefs and concessions from different institutions and state government.
TMC MP Dola Sen said, “ the decision is anti-people, anti-worker and anti-industry and we shall fight back and stop it at all cost under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee’’.
In 2015, consulting agency and Transaction Advisor Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) proposed outright sale of land at Khardah, Kinnison and RBHM and development of a garment park and textile parks in Union, National and Alexandra Mills.