Assam Paper Mills: JACRU raises objection to fresh Auction Notice of HPCL assets

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This comes after the liquidator of Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPCL)- Kuldeep Verma has set Rs 700 crore reserve price for e-auction, to be held on December 24, 2021
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Assam Paper Mills: JACRU raises objection to fresh Auction Notice
Nagaon Paper Mill (File Image)

Guwahati: The Joint Action Committee for Registered Unions (JACRU) in a fresh letter addressed to the liquidator on Saturday raised objection on Auction Notice notified on November 25, 2021, for selling the assets of HPCL on a Piecemeal basis in contravention to the Order of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) dated May 29, 2019, Rectified Order dated July 23, 2019, & Order on NCLT dated April 26, 2021, and demanded a review of the Auction Notice to obey the Order of Adjudication Authority.

This comes after the liquidator of Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPCL)- Kuldeep Verma has set Rs 700 crore reserve price for e-auction, to be held on December 24, 2021.

In a letter, JACRU stated, “It may be recalled that in the Auction Notice dated 01-06-2021 the Base Value of Assets was Fixed at Rupees 1139 Crores and the Conditions was to sell the Assets as a Going Concern along with Workers / Employees as Per Regulation 32 (e) and by subsequent Auction Notice the Base Value of Assets Reduced to Rupees 969 Crores keeping the conditions remain same as the previous Auction Notice.”

“Paradoxically, to our utter surprise, the Liquidator notified the fresh Auction Notice dated 25-11-2021 by drastically reducing the Base Value of Assets including all Core Assets at Rupees 786.18 Crores and that also in Piecemeal Basis disobeying the obligatory Order of NCLAT as nowhere the Principle of Going Concern & Regulation 32(e) has been given as a condition of Auction as it has been done in two earlier Auction Notice. Consequently, we failed to understand what inside story remains behind the screen in this fresh Action Exercise which leads to violating the Order of NCLAT as well as NCLT where both the Adjudicating Authority repeatedly Ordered to ensure that the Company Remains a GOING CONCERN in all conditions along with Workers / Employees &  while the Liquidator again drastically reduced the Base Value of Assets to sell the Company at throw away Price in piecemeal basis by minimizing the Value of Assets why the Prime Condition to hand Over the Assets as Going Concerned along with Workers/employees eliminated & abolished,” added Manobendra Chakraborty, JACRU President.

In the light of the above, JACRU registered their vehement objection of the Auction Notice & requested the Liquidator to review the Objectionable Auction Notice to abide by the Order of NCLAT dated 29-05-2019 including modified Order dated July 23, 2019, & subsequent Order dated April 26, 2021, for the interest of protecting the Law of the Land. They have requested the Liquidator to Response obliged with action taken report within November 30, 2021, else, they shall be compelled to initiate appropriate steps for the interest of justice and to protect the National Assets along with its Workers & Employees and for any unwarranted eventualities the Liquidator would be held solely responsible.

Notably, months ago, the state government under the leadership of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had also provided an amount of Rs 570 crore to its employees as part of a relief package according to an agreement.

Read More : Two Assam paper mills to go on e-auction on Dec 24; HPC liquidator sets Rs 700 crore as reserve price

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