By Robert Wanyonyi
The long awaited revival of the defunct Pan- Paper Mills in Webuye, Bungoma County is set to start after the Government released Sh1 billion for the exercise.
Trade Minister Moses Wetangâula announced that the money, factored in the 2012-2013 Budget, will be used to repair old machines and buy new ones to put the paper firm back on track.
The Sirisia MP also announced another Sh50 million funding from the Government to resuscitate the Malakisi cotton ginnery that collapsed in the early 80s.
âI want to appeal to farmers who were dealing in cotton to begin growing the cash crop because we donât want a situation whereby the factory is back in business but closes down again due to unavailability of raw materials,â said the minister.
He announced that leaders from Bungoma County have formed a committee to oversee the revival of the paper-processing project.
This came after complains from Webuye MP Alfred Sambu that the Sh500 million dispatched earlier by the Government for the revival of the paper factory had been misappropriated.
âAs leaders from this county, we are going to ensure that the money disbursed by the Government towards the revival of Pan- Paper is used properly and for the intended purpose,â said Wetangâula.
The minister assured workers at the firm that they would soon resume their jobs.
The workers had been recalled only for the factory to be shut down again four months ago due to huge debts and lack of market for its products.
âWe want to advise those who have been given the mandate of managing Pan- Paper to be very transparent in their dealings to ensure the firm is back to profitability because we want to boost the financial status of our county,â said Wetangâula.