Kerala CM takes a dig at Centre after relaunching debt-ridden PSU

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurates the commencement of production at KPPL on Thursday. Photo: Twitter/ @pinarayivijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a dig at the union government after relaunching a central PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) that was put on sale for incurring losses.

Vijayan on Thursday inaugurated a revamped Kerala Paper Products Limited (KPPL) that used to be Hindustan Newsprint Ltd (HNL) at Velloor.

"It was a central PSU put on sale by the GoI as part of its disinvestment drive. Committed to protecting PSUs, GoK revamped it as #KPPL, a state PSU," tweeted Pinarayi Vijayan.

"It is set to become the biggest paper and paper products manufacturer in India," he claimed.

Kerala's Minister for Industries, P Rajeev marked it as a victory for the LDF government's policies. "The Centre had denied the state's request to take over HNL when it was put up for sale. Later it was through the intervention of the National Company Law Tribunal that the company was handed over to the state," said Rajeev.

The renovation works started in January this year. "The idea is to develop it into a company with Rs 3,000 crore turnover. KKPL will provide jobs to nearly 3,000 and manufacture 5 metric tons annually," said Rajeev.

Two years ago, the NCLT had issued an order to hand over HNL to the state government.

HNL had started functioning on February 26, 1982, and had the infrastructure to bring out 1 lakh tonnes of newsprint per day. After incurring losses, it had remained shut for over a year with employees unpaid for months.

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