Guwahati: The Assam Cabinet on Wednesday sanctioned Rs 375 crore for participating in the bidding to take over assets of closed units of the Central PSU Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPCL) at three places of the state – Nagaon, Cachar and Haflong, a minister said.

The weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, also approved the draft notification for delineation and recognition of nine animal corridors to the south of Kaziranga National Park.

It also gave its nod to certain amendments to be made in Acts that will ease the recruitment process.

“The Cabinet decided to sanction Rs 375 crore for participation in the bidding for taking over all assets of Nagaon Paper Mill, Cachar Paper Mill and the leasehold land of the HPC at Haflong,” Water Resources Minister and government spokesperson Pijush Hazarika told reporters after the meeting.

Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district is non-functional since October 2015, while the Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon district is shut since March 2017.

Since the closure of the two mills, at least 95 employees died, including four allegedly taking their own lives, primarily due to lack of proper treatment as they did not receive salaries or dues for around five years, according to the unions.

As per an agreement reached between the Assam government and unions in September last year, the state will acquire the assets of the two closed mills and provide a relief package of Rs 570 crore to its employees.

“This cabinet decision will benefit around 1,100 families of HPCL workers in Assam,” Hazarika said.

The Cabinet also decided to scrap several redundant laws.

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