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Violence Ravages Manipur’s Economy, Entrepreneurs Face Uncertainty

Violence Ravages Manipur's Economy, Entrepreneurs Face Uncertainty
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Entrepreneurs and businesses are reeling from the impact of ongoing violence in Manipur, with economic activities grinding to a halt. The violence, which began on May 3, has affected all sections of society, cutting across communities and leaving entrepreneurs uncertain about their investments and the future of their businesses.

Yaikhomba Ningthemcha, the founder of Addble Solutions Pvt Ltd, expressed the magnitude of the impact, stating that the lives of people in Manipur had changed dramatically since the clashes began. He emphasized that the violence had set the region back by several years, undoing the progress that had been made in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business community has been hit hard, with normal transactions coming to a standstill and internet-dependent businesses suffering severely. Entrepreneurs are grappling with the inability to receive loan payments and the disruption of GST filing due to the lack of internet connectivity. These challenges have dealt a blow to the local economy and hindered the growth of businesses.

Ningthemcha, who returned to Manipur after a successful career in Bengaluru, questioned his decision to start a business in his hometown. He had envisioned contributing to the development of Manipur and uplifting the state, but the violence has cast doubt on the feasibility of those aspirations.

N Sundeep Meitei, a stockbroker from Sangaithel village, echoed the sentiments, highlighting the dire situation faced by businesses in the absence of transportation and internet services. He emphasized that without these essential components, progress and infrastructure development become impossible, leaving the state in a state of stagnation.

The clashes and the resulting mistrust among communities have inflicted long-lasting damage on industries, impacting the lives of ordinary people as well. Patients in hospitals, particularly the elderly and minors, are facing difficulties in receiving necessary funds for their treatment. The repercussions of the violence are being felt across all communities in Manipur, transcending ethnic boundaries.

The clashes erupted following a “Tribal Solidarity March” organized by hill district communities to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The violence has claimed over 100 lives, injured several hundred individuals, and forced thousands to seek refuge in relief camps.

Manipur’s population comprises around 53% Meiteis, primarily residing in the Imphal Valley, while Tribal Nagas and Kukis account for approximately 40% and predominantly inhabit the hill districts.

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Gangtokian Web Team, 03/07/23

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