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Extortion Hinders Business Growth In Manipur

How can anybody do good business in a situation of constant threat and illegal trade practices? This is exactly what is happening in Manipur, a state plagued by the constant extortion from the insurgent groups. The dealers in the IT industry are often ‘˜taxed’ by the insurgent groups to pay for their activities in the state.

Not just that many of the dealers and businessmen in the industry have to follow the instruction of insurgent groups before concluding any business transaction. All business agreements are forced to go through approvals from different insurgency group. Many of the regional dealers and distributors do admit that taxes are imposed on their monthly earnings to fund insurgent groups like PLA (military outfit of RPF), NSCN (National Socialist Council of Nagalim), PREPAK and UNLF in the name of ‘life insurance premium‘.

Highlighting the issue of IT market in the region, a dealer on the condition of anonymity said, ‘Here extortion is the major problems which deter further growth of IT market. The more powerful underground outfits appoint extortion gangs that target mostly big dealers and business tycoons. This is the main hurdle for further enhancement of the IT market in the region.’

Added to this, the state is also seeing a burgeoning market for illegally imported goods, especially in IT. Since the state borders Myanmar and China, there is an influx of gray market products at cheaper pricing, which spells doom for the delicate business balance for legal goods mostly in IT. In fact insurgency groups are known to encourage this as this helps them with funds. The illegal traders also take support of the groups to promote gray market in the region. A tough nexus to break! In fact industry watchers say that this is impacting the whole of North-Eastern markets of India.

In a scenario where the Indian IT market is seen as the golden opportunity by most big vendors across the world, a negative situation like extortion, corruption, and illegal trade practice in the name of freedom and revolution is only harming the economy of the state. It is high time the government and the IT industry worked together to tackle the issue.

*The article is written by Arun J Pegu

(Courtesy: Travel Media)

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Related Sites:

*The Sangai Express- Largest Circulated News Paper In Manipur
*E-Pao! :: Complete e-platform for Manipuris


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