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Govt to pour Rs 469 cr to revive Asia’s oldest newsprint company, Nepa Ltd.

The PSU was incorporated in 1947 and was the only newsprint manufacturing unit in India up to 1981. It will be put on the block for disinvestment after the completion of the revival plan

New Delhi: At a time when the government is pursuing its disinvestment plan aimed at raising Rs 80,000 crores in the current fiscal with great ferocity, Nepa Limited, Asia's oldest newsprint company to have served India right after the independence in 1947, has got a breather, for now. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for providing a financial package of Rs 469.41 crore for the Revival and Mill Development Plan (RMDP) of Nepa Limited, a public sector newsprint company located in Madhya Pradesh's Nepanagar that has not been functioning since 2016, on October 3.

This package includes the infusion of Rs 277 crore as equity into the company for the completion of RMDP which shall enhance production capacity to 1,00,000 MT per annum from the present capacity of 83,000 MT per annum, diversify production, improve quality of products and also help resume production at Nepa Ltd. The RMDP is expected to be completed within a year.

The plan for strategic disinvestment of NEPA Ltd has, however, not been shelved and will be taken up after the completion of the RMDP at an appropriate time

A loan of Rs 101.58 crore has also been approved for the payment of salary, wages, etc. in order to mitigate the hardship being faced by the company’s employees. A sum of Rs 90.83 crore was approved for the voluntary retirement scheme of 400 employees.

The plan for strategic disinvestment of NEPA Ltd has, however, not been shelved and will be taken up after the completion of the RMDP at an appropriate time. The RMDP will help Nepa Ltd. to command a better presence in the market besides supporting employment in the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh, a statement released by the government said.

Nepa Ltd is a pioneer newsprint company located in Madhya Pradesh’s Burhanpur district and was incorporated in 1947. It was the only newsprint manufacturing unit in India up to 1981. The revival and modernisation plan is expected to enhance the production capacity of the PSU and diversify its product portfolio.