The Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has suspended R. Gopala Rao, Managing Director of Hindustan Newsprint Ltd, Velloor near Kottayam from the post, pending further inquiry.
Rao has been placed under suspension with immediate effect till further orders. The government order dated December 31, 2020 signed by Rao Vineet Kumar, Under Secretary, noted that the continuance of the official in present position was likely to interfere with the process of fair and transparent investigation.
The order further directed Rao not to enter any of the company offices during the suspension period, unless called upon by a competent authority in writing. He is required not to leave the company headquarters without prior permission of the Competent Authority.
HNL sources said the government order followed a CVC enquiry against the official based on a flurry of corruption charges raised by company employees, trade unions and supply contractors. Rao had taken charge as Managing Director of HNL in November 2016.
Since July 2018, the company’s financial creditors approached the National Company Law tribunal with its production plant remaining shut, and it now is undergoing the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process. Recently, the Kerala Government announced its plan to take over the company using the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) fund as part of its 100-days Action Plan.