Thriving in monopoly

Till the 1960s, the pulp and paper market was dominated by family-owned big industrial houses such as the Birlas and Thapars. They availed of all the sops given to the industry and built their empires on the foundation of a paper or pulp ind ustry. Then entered public sector underdertakings (PSUs), which managed to disturb the monopoly of the family-owned enterprises. In course of time, PSUs have turned the tables in their favour, particularly in raw material sourcing.

There are five government-owned mills operating at present: Hindustan Newsprint Limited ( hnl ), Mysore Paper Mills ( mpm ), Nagaon Paper Mills ( npm ), Cachar Paper Mills ( cpm ) and Tamil Nadu Paper and Newsprints Ltd ( tnpl ). As of today, mpm and cpm source 100 per cent, hnl 97.5 per cent, tnpl 80 per cent and npm 60 per cent of their raw material needs from government forest lands. This situation exists despite the 1988 National Forest Policy with bans raw material sourcing on government forest lands