TODAY -
RPF bans export of local rice
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 02 2008: Acknowledging the historic date of Nupi Lan Day (December 12), the proscribed RPF has banned export of rice produced in Manipur with effect from December 12, 2008 .

A statement issued by the RPF's chief of Department of Communication and Publicity N Wangba warned that any one found exporting rice through overt or covert means should accept whatever punishment is awarded to them by the party.

Categorically asserting that there would be no room for any compromise for those found violating the outfit's prohibition, it also asked all concerned to provide a detailed statement in case any one is cultivating paddy exclusively as cash crop (not as a staple food) with the motive of exporting the rice to some other States or place.

In this regard, the party's decision will be final, Wangba asserted.

Elucidating on its resolution to prohibit export of local rice outside the State, the outfit noted that rice produced in Manipur is no longer sufficient for home consumption.

This is in stark contrast to what was in the past when Manipur produced surplus rice.

Recalling popular sayings of the past like "Cultivating paddy a year was sufficient for consumption in the next two years", the outfit took serious note of the present food shortage being faced by the people of Manipur where the shortage is being made up by rice imported from outside under APL, BPL, AAY and WIN.

On the other hand, notwithstanding the prevailing situation marked by acute shortage of local rice, some people have been exporting the high-quality and tasty Manipuri rice to which State Government is allegedly looking the other way around.

According to 2007-08 estimates, the total quantity of rice required for the people of Manipur (excluding people coming from outside the State) in a year was 8 lakhs metric tonnes whereas the total rice production of the State was 4 lakh metric tonnes.

But the actual quantity imported to make up the shortage was only 0.95 metric tonnes.

This figure is exclusive of the rice imported from the neighbouring country of Myanmar, the outfit elaborated.

Accusing the Government of India of scheming to suppress Manipur through various means since the day it allegedly annexed Manipur, it alleged that the existing Government has been trying to cover up their misdeeds by blaming insurgents for underdevelopment of Manipur.

On the other hand, the Government of India has been pumping in huge amount of funds in the name of development projects to attenuate the revolutionary movement and the people are being made to scramble for this easy money.

This has led to a unhealthy culture amongst the people of yearning for easy money.

Consequent upon such an unsavoury culture, the people of Manipur have been losing work culture while more and more people have been increasingly seeking easier means of living comfortable life.

Such attitude is also responsible for many people becoming addicts in intoxicating substances as well as for the increased anti-social activities.

Eventually, loss of work culture has rendered the people of Manipur wholly dependent on money provided by the Government of India.

Except for the 'poison-like fund' provided by the Government, the people have been losing all other means of livelihood, the outfit asserted.

In short, Manipur has been turned into a land of neo-colonialism where India is being presented as indispensable under any circumstance for the survival of Manipur.

Although history described Manipur as a fertile country characterised by self-sufficiency in its requirements, the alleged neo-colonialism of India has really turned Manipur into a land which depends on imported foods bereft of its own production and totally dependent on other States, the RPF observed.

To fight or free from the alleged neo-colonial policy of the Government of India, it is paramount to make Manipur independent, and for this the first priority is production of food in abundance, it asserted.

The outfit further sought support and cooperation from the people in its efforts to fight the alleged neo-colonialism of the Government of India and towards making Manipur self-reliant.


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