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Delhi Chalo... TELANGANA at last…BUT Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Auto components surge… Streamlining mandatory third party cover Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... A proud Madrasi Rahman at CIC He saved millions from starvation... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu An inexplicable neglect Revive development banks... Readers' Mail CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? GM Technology at last! For whom the MIDS bell tolls? A welcome initiative by the judiciary The brown list of Venkitaramanan Strengthen the base... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ The power-full Hindujas Cutting the nose to spite the face Plummeting profits of PSBs PC’s preference for professionals Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Sweet news for TN sugar mills Muffled voices for merit… A glass full of corruption Kudos to NDTV... 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Funding the un-funded This scant respect for Law New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… SoA @ 80 Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Editor's Says Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL IPL - no surprise this scam Revving up the manufacturing sector Modi and the lady Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research The rise and rise of KCP Adharma of opposition politics Where a state respects its litterateurs… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Small units prefers to remain small... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Permanent secretariat for TN GIM More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Another Indian music maestro at the UN The Jan Dhan bonanza A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Solar thermal shines… TIAM turns a full cycle The nuclear option Which side are you, Montek? Multi-faceted Venkat Fuel for thought Road development slows down Polls and promises Pharma – overdose of copying Maximising the micro pricing … Parliament in paralysis... Sri Lanka votes for change Tatas moving out of urea production... The balancing act Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Quality silica from Neyveli No Maha Koottani in TN... Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Make standards certification mandatory... Banning booze... The rise and fall of Annamalai University The Gulf aviation boom Haul over the coal Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Airlines in India: cost and space Silver Years of Madras Musings The Swadeshi Trump ONGC at KG Basin Gay abandon in pricing The few handicaps... 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Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel A yen for wastage… Music happens Robber barons everywhere PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Welcome GST When online building permits work…. Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan …and of a popular trade leader A friendly business group Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? A think tank for Chennai Mersal magnified West Bengal: mindless malignancy Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Paytm karo... Tough task taking states together Modi storms Silicon Valley TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Return to king coal for urea... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more
 
Robber barons everywhere

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described India as a non-tax-compliant society. I go one step forward to say it is also as a non-shameable society.

Even after strictures passed by Justice Michael D’Cunha of the Special Court and confirmed by the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on the shenanigans of J Jayalalithaa and her cohorts, her followers believe that Amma and Chinnamma are demi-gods falsely implicated by the DMK leadership. 

Such nonchalance permeates society. Look at the near impossibility of the government or even the courts to discipline auto rickshaw drivers of Chennai to charge as per metre. Times of India has been running a  spirited campaign demanding this.  Consumers outnumber the auto owners in the Chennai metro at 100:1 but the former is unable to stop this hefty fleecing.

IE has been pointing to, corruption institutionalised in Tamil Nadu. The entire range of activities from getting a building permit to power and water connection to the registration of plots to school and  college admissions, all seethe in corruption.

Recently I had an experience of unlimited avarice: my fridge was tired of cooling and one day fell sick. I googled for an authorised service centre and soon enough its mechanic turned up. This expert, who came along with a set of spares, said he had replaced three parts. When I insisted on getting the old ones, he reluctantly pulled out three from his bag. He produced a bill for Rs.3550 including Rs.3200 for the three new parts and Rs 350 towards service. When I questioned why those simple parts such as a relay and a condenser should cost so much, he said companies make money not on the sale of fridge but on the spares. I handed a cheque for the amount demanded.

The following day I sent my driver to a couple of reputed shops in George Town that deal with refrigerator spares along with the three parts replaced. I got two quotes, the first one for Rs 680 and the second for Rs 480!  I brought this to the notice of the service firm. The manager initially tried to explain the matter away, but then relented. He finally returned the cheque and took a fresh one for Rs 850 (Rs 500 for parts and Rs 350 for labour).

Most customers are not aware of the prices of spares. Large internationally reputed companies like LG Electronics have a duty to ensure the protection of the consumer.

This is no aberration or exception. The auto rickshaw syndrome permeates our society.  There are robber barons everywhere.  Their stock defence: do not our netas do this all the time?  Justice Cunha is right: ‘Yatha Raja thata Praja.’


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