TODAY -

Rolling out the red carpet for Mao traders : Keep prices competitive
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 20 2015 -



The turn of events leading to the present situation was unfortunate but this should be no reason for the State Government and the people to overlook the immense potential it offers.

With the Nagaland based Southern Angami People’s Organisation targeting people of Mao origin at Kohima and other places in Nagaland, traders from Mao have started coming to Imphal to sell their wares.

The Dzuko Valley dispute is the immediate reason and Imphal based newspapers have been carrying information on how people from Mao were told in no uncertain terms that they are no longer welcome in Nagaland.

Faced with such a situation, traders from the border town have shifted their attention to Imphal now and this is an opportunity that should not be overlooked.

Geographically Mao is situated much closer to Kohima (about 32 kms) than Imphal (about 105 kms) and this is one reason why traders from Mao have always preferred Kohima over Imphal.

This is about the geographical distance, but there is also something called social relationship and the people of Imphal, meaning the majority community, the Meiteis, will need to demonstrate that everyone is welcome to trade or engage in business at Imphal.

Mere verbal assurances and catchy slogans will not do and there has to be a change in the mindset of everyone. This is the beginning and no efforts should be spared to ensure that this does not end at the stage of ‘the beginning.’

So far everything suggest that the people of Imphal are more than ready to roll out the red carpet for the traders from Mao and while this is a good start, all should endeavour to ring out the message that it is not only the produces which are on sale that the people are interested in but also the conditions of the traders.

The State Government should take the lead in welcoming the traders from Mao.

And perhaps the best start will be to earmark a spot for them and accordingly construct a market place where trade activities can be carried on without any disturbances.

At the moment there is a tribal market at New Lambulane but probably there is no more space at this market place to accommodate the traders from Mao.

Maybe it may help if the Government can take a look at the present market place at Lamphel, in front of Shankar Talkies.

After the market sheds at Nagamapal were pulled down some years back, all the traders there were supposed to shift to the Lamphel site, but so far there is nothing much to suggest that all the traders have indeed shifted to Lamphel.

This should more than suggest that there are some places at Lamphel which can house the traders from Mao. Moreover there are a number of hill people settled at Lamphel area.

The Government may also take a look at the unoccupied floors of Ima Market in Khwairamband Keithel.

So far everything suggest that the Mao traders are a big hit among the people here, with many people queuing up to purchase the goods they bring.

This is where the traders from Mao also need to keep a check on the prices they quote for their goods.

Will not make much commercial sense if the prices of their produces are just too high for the common people.

Maybe the Government may step in and help in charting out a rate for the produces the Mao traders bring.



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