Manipur stops newspapers due to cash crunch

Imphal,Nov18:Demonetisation hits Manipur media, no newspapers to hit the stands from today: Publishers and distributors decided to stop the press as they are unable to carry out business because lower denomination notes are unavailable.

The Newspaper Publishers’ Association and the All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors have said distribution of newspapers will not be possible as they are not in the position to transact legal tenders and hence they have decided to keep publication shut from Thursday.

The decision to stop publication of papers was announced after a joint meeting of the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors Association and Editors’ Guild at Hueiyen Lanpao office here today, according to a statement.

Since the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes from November 8, the distributors/hawkers are facing a problem in carrying the business. The newspaper owners are no more accepting the scrapped old notes from them. At the same time, they are now unable to make payment of lower denominations as well as the new notes to the media houses.

On November 15, the publishers’ body said media houses were facing inconveniences in transacting business following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes by the Narendra Modi government. The publishers had said they would not accept these notes from distributors and urged the government to include the media houses in these categories.

People here have not been able to get sufficient legal tenders since then. Even a number of shops in Khwairamband Keithel here have started downing shutters due to the continued cash disruption.

Media houses are not included in the categories where the demonitised notes can be transacted till November 24 midnight, the time limit given by the government. Government hospitals, bus ticket counters, railways, airports, milk booths, fuel stations authorized by the state governments, crematoria and burial grounds will accept these notes till the above extended time.

Besides the cash crunch gripping Manipur, people here are facing acute shortage of consumer goods and fuel due to the ongoing indefinite economic blockade called by the United Naga Council (UNC) along the two important highways linking Manipur with rest of the country over the Manipur government’s plan to convert Sadar Hills and Jiribam into full-fledged revenue districts.