Stand to boycott Government news Is the Govt that broke ?

Is the BJP led Government that broke that it cannot pay the outstanding advertisement bills owed to different media houses in the State ? Is the BJP, supposed to be the richest political party in the country, so pauperised that it cannot pay what is due to the media houses ? Or is it indifference ? These questions are important in the face of publishers, Editors, the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and the Manipur Hills Journalists’ Union (MHJU) adopting a stand to stop carrying news that has anything to do with the BJP led Government at Imphal and the BJP, the political party. This is the first time that such a decision has been taken and herein lies the novelty in the ‘boycott’ stand. In Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Manipur has a Chief Minister who is a former journalist and an Editor to boot, and one hopes he is able to see and understand the circumstances under which media houses go all the way to come out with a 12, 10 or 8 paged daily newspaper. For example, the selling price of Rs 6 for a 12 paged daily newspaper does not cover even the price of the newsprint that goes into bringing out the day’s paper. It is the advertisement revenue which enables a newspaper to function and by function one should take into account the cost of running the office, the salary of the newspaper staff and when one says staff, the Government should look beyond the newsmen-the Editor, the reporters and the Sub-Editors-but also understand that it includes the machine men, the distribution section, the advertisement staff etc. Moreover running a newspaper office means the Government should understand that this includes the power tariff, which is high, very high, the water tariff, the maintenance of the machine, the computers, the printers, etc. Also remember that producing a 12 paged daily newspaper in Manipur is much higher than producing the same in say, Guwahati or even Dimapur. Everything, from the newsprint to the ink to all the raw materials are brought in by road and it is not without reason why there is the general belief (which is true too), that transporting these goods from Dimapur to Imphal by road is costlier than transporting the same from the paper mill to Dimapur. One need not spell out the reason but just do not forget why their is a huge price difference between a kilogram of oranges at Dimapur and Imphal.  It is the economics of producing the day’s paper which should be acknowledged by the Government and perhaps they will come closer to understanding the logic behind the boycott call.
A similar course of action (boycott of Government news) was mulled before the just held Assembly election, but at the intervention of no one less than the Chief Minister the ultimatum was rolled back for some time. The interesting question is, doesn’t the Government have some sort of  a financial policy such as under which heads the advertisements are put for publication ?  Or is it a case of each and every Government department doing as it wishes without caring about the availability of the funds to be paid to the newspaper houses ? In the absence of corporate houses not coming to Manipur or not targeting the consumers of Manipur in a big way, many of the newspapers published here depend heavily on the Government advertisements for survival and pay the staff under its payroll. It should also not be forgotten that the market for the newspaper in Manipur is small, very small. This is all that more so for the hill based newspapers. The Government will have to demonstrate that it does care for the struggling media houses in the State and acknowledge the responsibility it has taken all these years. Even during the Covid pandemic, when the entire State was under lockdown, the media was not and went about dispensing its duties as before. It is the same whenever Manipur burnt earlier. Leaving the media houses unpaid for months is not exactly acknowledging the immense responsibility it has taken up all these years.