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Dailies shut indefinitely

Cash-hit Imphal-based newspapers, which did not come out today, have suspended publication indefinitely.

By Our Special Correspondent in Imphal
  • Published 19.11.16
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Journalists at the sit-in in Imphal on Friday. Telegraph picture

Imphal, Nov. 18: Cash-hit Imphal-based newspapers, which did not come out today, have suspended publication indefinitely.

It was decided at a joint meeting of the All Manipur Newspaper Publishers' Association and the All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors' Association yesterday that morning papers would not come out from today until the cash situation improved.

Publishers and journalists staged a sit-in in Imphal today seeking the attention of the state government and the Reserve Bank of India.

The publishers' association today sent a representation to the chief general manager of the RBI to include newspapers in the list of organisations that are allowed to accept the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes till November 24, like public hospitals, milk booths, petrol pumps and the like.

Stating that hawkers and newspaper houses are facing problems because there is a shortage of Rs 100 notes, members of the representation said if the newspaper houses are not allowed to accept the demonetised notes, the publications would come to a grinding halt.

"Since the use of demonetised notes are not allowed for business transaction barring some, which have been exempted, we can be harassed by income tax people or any other government agencies if we continue our business transactions with these demonetised notes. So, we are compelled to take this step of suspending publications," president of the publishers' association, S. Niladhaja, said.

The association urged the RBI to consider its demand to include newspapers in the list of businesses that can accept the demonetised notes as media houses disseminate information and create awareness on government policies.

While some businesses in Imphal are still accepting the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, most are not. The RBI brought nearly Rs 400 crore worth of Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 notes in two instalments for Manipur, but this has failed to ease the situation. Bank sources said the demand for Rs 100 notes was far surpassing the supply.

Long queues outside ATM kiosks and banks continue and banks have stopped issuing Rs 100 notes as stocks have run out.