paper mill assam
File image of Nagaon Paper Mill in Assam

Guwahati: In a big relief for the workers of the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills, the Assam government has decided to release a financial package of Rs 500 crore by June 30 for the employees of the two closed mills.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while making the much-awaited announcement on the concluding day of the Assam BJP state executive at Diphu on Wednesday, said, “We will release a financial package of Rs 500 crore to the workers and employees of the two paper mills by June 30 to provide relief to the workers and reward their years of hard work.”

“So by June 30, every employee of the two mills will receive their pending dues in their bank accounts. The workers have gone through a lot of financial hardships owing to the closure of the mills,” he added.

The Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon have been non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017 respectively.

It may be noted that the employees of the two paper mills have not been paid salaries for the past 64 months.

Meanwhile, the death toll of workers of the two mills rose to 106 with the passing away of yet another ailing employee of the Cachar Paper Mill.

A majority of the workers have been unable to afford proper medical treatment owing to a financial crisis.

The Assam government had earlier this year taken over the assets of the paper mills at Jagiroad and Panchgram with Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) declared as the successful bidder.

The state government has also decided to increase the benefit under the women empowerment ‘Orunodoi’ scheme to Rs 1250 from Rs 1,000 per month from September 2022 besides adding more beneficiaries to the list.

“Keeping our poll promise, we have decided to increase the Orunodoi benefit to Rs 1,250 from September 2022 and add 6 lakh new beneficiaries. To ensure that no ineligible person shall get the benefit, we’ll conduct a door-to-door verification drive with the help of NCC cadets,” the chief minister said.

The door-to-door verification drive across the state is scheduled for July.

State finance minister Ajanta Neog had on Sunday informed media persons that teams would visit homes of all beneficiaries during July and August this year and carry out the verification campaign to ascertain genuine beneficiaries under the scheme.

“We have laid clear guidelines for greater transparency. Anyone found ineligible for the scheme during the verification drive would be excluded from the beneficiary list,” Neog said.

The Orunodoi scheme was launched in October 2020 to help economically unsound people amid the pandemic.

Financial assistance of Rs 830 per month was initially provided which has been enhanced to Rs 1,000 per month a year after the launch of the scheme.

There are about 20 lakh beneficiaries under the Orunodoi scheme and another six lakh beneficiaries would be brought under the ambit of the scheme.

Women being the primary caretakers of the family are kept as beneficiaries of the scheme.

The finance minister further said some other schemes such as pension for divyang (specially-abled people) would be subsumed in the DBT scheme for operational convenience.



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