The Central government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has taken a toll on Manipuri media as newspapers and dailies have ceased circulation from Friday, due to the lack of availability of lower denomination notes.
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 the publication shut. We apologise for the public inconvenience in this regard.”
With the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, hawkers are witnessing a major crisis. The newspaper owners are not accepting the scrapped old notes anymore. At the same time, they are now unable to make payment of lower denominations as well as the new notes to the media houses.
Both associations and the Editors’ Guild came to the decision to stop the publication of papers at a joint meeting at the office of local daily Hueiyen Lanpao in Imphal on Thursday. Publishers have urged the Narendra Modi government to include media houses in the list of exceptions (including Government hospitals, bus ticket counters, railways, airports, milk booths, fuel stations and etc.) allowed to transact using the demonetised notes till November 24 midnight.
Besides the major cash crunch, Manipur is reeling under acute shortage of consumer goods and fuel because of the indefinite economic blockade being staged by the United Naga Council along two highways that link the state with rest of the country. The protest was called because of Manipur government’s plan to convert Sadar Hills and Jiribam into full-fledged revenue districts.