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

Contrary to the widely held opinion, the Chief Statistician to the Government of India, T C A Anant, said that the tax-GDP ratio for India was not much lower than that of other economies!

Anant reasoned that 45 per cent of businesses and trades do not keep proper accounts and are not coming under the tax net. Factoring this, the tax-GDP ratio is not too bad!, he said.

The tax-GDP ratio, currently 16.6 per cent is way below that of emerging market economies (21 per cent) and the average for OECD countries (34 per cent).

IE has been pointing to the very low number of citizens filing tax returns, of just around three crore out of the 125 crore population. To my query on this, Anant pointed to the high exemption limit of Rs. 5 lakh. By proper planning, one may not pay any taxes upto an annual income of Rs 5 lakh!

Rs. 5 lakh income is no small amount, and it is far higher than the per capita income of Rs. 93,293 for 2015-16. It’s time to spread the tax net wide and bring around 40 per cent under the IT net. A contribution of Rs. 1000 as tax for an annual income of Rs. 2 lakh shouldn’t pose a big burden. We can ensure such payment through efficient computerisation.

The more serious concern should be on getting the 45 per cent to maintain accounts. The attempts of Manmohan Singh to impose a presumptive tax of a measly Rs. 1400 on these sections found resistance and had to be withdrawn.

Hopefully, the introduction of GST will help bring about change.

Anant was addressing the members of the Chennai International Centre and presented the nuances of the computation of the gross domestic product, particularly, the efforts made to refine and re-refine the concept. When the NDA-II government claimed a higher GDP growth on new norms, there was, understandably, scepticism and charges of shifting the goal post. It is normal for experts to disagree, and so the scepticism continues!

 Sunder Ramaswamy, noted economist and acting Head of the Madras School of Economics, made a lucid presentation on the evolution of GDP over the last eight decades with continuous refinements.

 A more pressing issue relates to the sudden spurt in GDP growth recorded by several states, many of them part of the BIMARU states. Remember business magazines going gung-ho over the spurt in GDP growth claimed by Bihar and later by Madhya Pradesh? This can be explained for an odd year by the base being low, but when such growth is reported for successive years, the claims needed closer scrutiny. This has to be related to Anant’s observation that different states follow different norms in computing GDP. Greater attention is required to standardise the rules for such computation.

 

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