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Telangana in top gear… Another Indian music maestro at the UN Towards speedy justice He continues the focus on social amelioration Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL No engine for this car Tatas moving out of urea production... Gay abandon in pricing A professional at the helm of IRDA... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai The brown list of Venkitaramanan Sri Lanka votes for change An inexplicable neglect Where is Rajaji? Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Robber barons everywhere IPL type auction for VCs? Moily’s bold thrust Remembering Indira Sivasailam... More tributes to GR Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Demise of a media baron... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Muffled voices for merit… Delhi returns to BJP Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Where a state respects its litterateurs… Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... For whom the bell tolls? …and of a popular trade leader Delhi is distant… A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Multi-faceted Venkat Delhi Chalo... Tribute Mersal magnified Noble nonagenarians... Quality silica from Neyveli Cutting the nose to spite the face A proud Madrasi Tatas moving out of urea production... Come elections, come advertisements... Editor's Notes Computation of GDP – conundrums continue GNS - 100: our first subscriber Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Welcome GST Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ The sea- saw battle continues... When the President was rendered homeless… Tribute – M V Murugappan Haul over the coal CII projects higher growth… Why land prices zoom in TN? CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... When small is no larger beautiful.. New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… West Bengal: mindless malignancy Medical costs hit the roof... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Sweeter prospects for sugar Streamlining mandatory third party cover When Ratan Tata visited SRM Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Make standards certification mandatory... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… The rise and fall of Annamalai University A more liberated TN… Waning interest in public discussions… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Vibrant Gujarat Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research The Jan Dhan bonanza EEC at the National Media Centre TGS- The king storyteller PC’s preference for professionals Engineering seats go abegging Building loyalty through the stomach Preserving for the future Valli, they are more marginalised TELANGANA at last…BUT Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Should we change the official year? London, London Narayan The rise and rise of KCP Russi Mody – a tribute F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing The power-full Hindujas Tax agriculture Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Shale gas and its shallow future When nations steal growth from one another… Contrarian cousins Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Small units prefers to remain small... Pharma – overdose of copying Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Gas is the way forward A think tank for Chennai Adharma of opposition politics Making ‘my Amaravati’... Build close rapport with business leaders Maximising the micro pricing … Fortune for Indian Airlines Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Secularism and anti-Hinduism to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science A friendly business group Quality education through the PPP mode Polls and promises TIAM turns a full cycle Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Modi storms Silicon Valley All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Boy, can you beat these? Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW GM Technology at last! Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Wise Presidents Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria The Gulf aviation boom Plummeting profits of PSBs Funding the un-funded Roaring Ro-Ro facility Delhi is distant A yen for wastage… Road development slows down WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Airlines in India: cost and space How Air-India loses customs... Strengthen the base... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu The balancing act Poor quality of university VCs PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Things happen by accident and not by design... S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Music happens An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Discoms deserve better… Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Breaththrough in malaria control S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Protest masters... Why this malaise in medical education? Solar thermal shines… Which side are you, Montek? Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Banning booze... Parliament in paralysis... China invests in India Rahman at CIC L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Modi and the lady More heat than light Shipping woes of Chennai companies Editor's Says Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Solar, solar everywhere … L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Kudos to NDTV... R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The few handicaps... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Return to king coal for urea... SoA @ 80 Silver Years of Madras Musings Kulandai was a giant More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Welcome focus on core competence No Maha Koottani in TN... A glass full of corruption Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Fuel for thought MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Kinetic Karnataka Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Revving up the manufacturing sector He saved millions from starvation... When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Shanti and Sadhana through Music Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Five star activism stalls development activity The nuclear option Mu Sigma – is no more This scant respect for Law Intellectual of rare qualities Auto components surge… The why of tax incentives The star of Spencers is no more Nuclear power at the nucleus IPL - no surprise this scam Readers' Mail Fortune 500 review Align crops to agro climate endowments… Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Paytm karo... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. B H Kothari - a tribute An enemy’s enemy is a friend The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Revive development banks... The Swadeshi Trump Sweet news for TN sugar mills Put expensive assets created to use... When online building permits work…. ONGC at KG Basin Convulsions in The Hindu Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Increasing non co-operation of state leaders A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Cement prices continue to rise… IAS invades NDDB... EVM is tamper-proof Tough task taking states together
 
China invests in India

Two of our leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, recently visited China. Both attempted to impress the Chinese policymakers and business leaders to expand their investments in India. In Modi’s visit MoUs were signed for around $ 22 billion of investments that included large corporations like Bharti Airtel, the Adani group, Wipro BPS and Jindal Steel and Power.

In the telecom area, Alibaba is reported to be interested in investing in Micromax. There were also expectations on Chinese investing in the Indian Railways. I believe a large scope for drawing on the rich expertise built by the Chinese in constructing high speed rail tracks capable of speeds in the region of 400 kmph. This will be of special value to the golden quadrilateral for railways planned by the NDA II government.

A rather disturbing trend in the two way trade between the two countries is the adverse balance in favour of China. In a volume of $ 70 billion of trade, imports from China amount to around $ 55 billion and exports from India at just around $ 15 billion. This is on the pattern of such imbalance witnessed in the trade of China with US; the huge surpluses generated have been utilised for making massive Chinese investments in US companies and assets.

In the bilateral trade one witnesses steep increase in imports of goods of low technology that have been traditionally manufactured for decades by Indian enterprises, especially in the small sector. In the earlier phase, competition from China affected exports of a vast range of goods from India from this sector like textiles and garments. But today such products are making deep inroads into Indian markets on the strength of their much lower prices. These range from cheap Ganesha idols to fire crackers to glass, ceramic tiles, electrical and electronic goods.

Many state social welfare schemes provided to ameliorate the lot of the poor and weaker sections involving thousands of crores of rupees, sadly, do not go to the benefit of hundreds of small units. Tamil Nadu government provides a few thousand crores of rupees worth fans, mixies, grinders…. to the weaker sections and laptops to students through liberal budget support. Small scale manufacturers of these equipment, who tendered for supplies find it cheaper to import these from China rather than produce these in their factories. The result is the lack of accountability. Such equipment are not covered by any warranty and do not perform well. Cost of repairing these are also high and such a beneficial scheme to the weaker sections seems to benefit only the manufacturers of cheap goods in China.

Gradually such damage is also creeping into better organised segments like the manufacture of ceramic tiles. Gujarat made excellent use of gas as the fuel for such manufacture. In a matter of a decade the entire Rajkot district and its environs emerged as a strong centre for ceramic tiles. In recent times, these have been accounting for a lion’s share in the market for tiles. Today under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules there is easy entry and Chinese have made deep inroads into this market. Similar is the experience of the once flourishing manufacturers of clocks in Gujarat.

To save hundreds of small units and employment of several lakhs, it is urgently necessary to tackle this issue. Think tanks should work on schemes of intelligent non-tariff barriers.

There is not much scope for expanding Indian exports of sophisticated, value-added products to China. IE has been suggesting India to focus on export of agricultural products that are in huge demand in that country. China imports millions of tonnes of soya from far away Latin American countries. India can try to get a share of this by leveraging its advantages of large arable land and of farming feasible round the year in most parts of the country. But this needs strong policy changes that would permit contract farming and corporate farming over large areas. With agriculture as a state subject, such a change is possible only by building consensus across the vast political spectrum.

As BJP is in power in several large states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra and with the business-savvy Chandrababu Naidu as a strong ally such a change can be attempted at least in these states.

 

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