Home » Imphal market in crisis as major trade routes disrupted within the state

Imphal market in crisis as major trade routes disrupted within the state

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read
Imphal market in crisis as major trade routes disrupted within the state

Imphal market, a bustling hub of commerce in Manipur, finds itself in deep trouble due to the lack of trade with major centers surrounding it. The ongoing conflict has indeed wreaked havoc on the traditional trade routes that once connected Imphal traders to broader markets beyond local consumption. In the past, the flow of goods from Imphal to Moreh, and subsequently to Myanmar, or from Imphal to Churachandpur and then onward to Mizoram, formed the backbone of trade in Manipur. However, the disruption caused by the conflict has severed these crucial arteries of commerce, resulting in a stagnation in trade and profits within the Imphal market.
The ramifications of this disruption extend beyond the confines of the Imphal market, reverberating throughout the state’s economy. With goods from Myanmar and Mizoram now bypassing Imphal and directly reaching Moreh and Churachandpur, the flow of revenue through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection has been significantly impacted. The once-thriving trade corridors that facilitated the movement of goods and generated revenue for the state are now eerily silent, leaving Imphal traders and the Manipur government grappling with the economic fallout of the conflict.
The agricultural sector, a vital component of Manipur’s economy, faces its own set of challenges. Farmers lament the inability to sell their produce to neighboring hills and states, exacerbating financial strains. The once-thriving export of ginger, valued at 20-30 crores, has come to a halt due to the conflict. Moreover, a steady supply of raw materials is essential for local production, which is now disrupted, further crippling the economy. Local production is also adversely affected, particularly in sectors like cane and bamboo, where Manipur used to be a significant exporter. Villages responsible for raw material production are now preoccupied with defending themselves, hampering production activities.
The banking sector, already underdeveloped in Manipur, is now facing severe setbacks. Low bank deposits and utilization of banking schemes are compounded by the ongoing conflict, as people are hesitant to deposit money amidst financial uncertainty. This reluctance threatens the credibility of the state’s populace in the eyes of banking institutions, exacerbating the financial crisis. Furthermore, there are demands from many businessmen that their bank loans should be waived and some of them even asked for exemptions from income taxes as they are deeply affected by the ongoing violence in Manipur.
While the Manipur government has commendably managed to control commodity prices in the market, the products are still sold at exorbitant rates. Traders face the burden of paying illegal taxes to pass through rebel-controlled territories, contributing to the high prices. Despite government efforts to ensure sufficient goods for consumption in the valley, significant challenges persist in trading with other major centers like Moreh and Churachandpur.
While the government has been managing the economy on a day-to-day basis, the lack of a comprehensive plan for economic recovery and future sustainability is glaring. With Manipur teetering on the brink of economic collapse, urgent interventions are needed to mitigate the effects of the conflict on the state’s economy. The government’s ability to address these challenges and steer Manipur towards economic stability remains uncertain, raising concerns about the region’s economic future. Immediate action and strategic planning are imperative to avert the looming economic crisis and safeguard Manipur’s prosperity.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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