The Centre’s move to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has hit newspaper publication in Manipur, as no dailies are expected to be out from Friday. The All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors Association and the Newspaper Publishers’ Association said they were stopping publication from Thursday because they can no longer carry out their transactions given the scarcity of legal tenders. “We apologise for the public inconvenience in this regard,” they said in a statement.
Hawkers and distributors are unable to carry out the business as newspaper owners are not accepting the high denomination currency from them anymore. They are also unable to make payments in the new notes or in lower denomination notes because of non-availability, according to Naga daily The Morung Express.
More than a dozen vernacular and English newspapers are published from Manipur.
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 allowed to transact in the demonetised notes till November 24 midnight.
They will stage a sit-in demonstration from 10 am to 3 pm on Friday, for which they have sought support from the public and civil society organisations, as well as from the Editors’ Guild Manipur, the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union and the Manipur Hill Journalists Union, Hindustan Times reported.
Besides the Centre’s demonetisation move, Manipur is also facing a severe shortage of fuel and essentials as a result of the indefinite economic blockage being staged by the United Naga Council along two highways that link the state with rest of the country. The blockage was called as a protest against the Manipur government’s proposal to transform Sadar Hills and Jiribam into revenue districts.