Newspapers in Manipur fail to hit stands for second day

IMPHAL, November 19 (NNN): Newspapers failed to hit the stands in Manipur for the second consecutive day on Saturday, November 19, following newspaper owners deciding to keep publication shut due to non-availability of lower denomination notes in transacting their business from Thursday.   Newspaper Publishers’ Association, All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors Association organized a sit-in protest at Keishampat Yumjao Lairenbi Mamang here demanding the government to facilitate dispensing of adequate lower denomination notes to run their business.   One of the protesters felt sorry over the closure of media houses, saying “publication would resume immediately if the government takes steps to ensure dispensing of lower denomination currency notes.” The publishers’ body had said publication of papers was not possible due to shortage of these currency notes.   The decision to stop publication of papers indefinitely was announced following a joint meeting of the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors Association and Editors’ Guild at Hueiyen Lanpao office here on Thursday.   Since the demonitisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes from midnight of November 8, the distributors/hawkers are facing a tough situation in carrying out their business. The newspaper owners are no more accepting the scrapped old notes from the distributors who are neither in a position to make payment of lower denominations nor 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. Many shops in Khwairamband Keithel here have started downing shutters due to small number of customers leaving their daily business in a worse shape.   The government has not included media houses in the categories where the demonitised notes can be transacted till November 24 midnight, the time limit given by the Centre. Government hospitals, bus ticket counters, railways, airports, milk booths, fuel stations authorized by the state governments, crematoria and burial grounds fall under these groups.