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When Ratan Tata visited SRM Valli, they are more marginalised Put expensive assets created to use... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… 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 Streamlining mandatory third party cover Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Solar thermal shines… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal The rise and fall of Annamalai University Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Editor's Notes Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Should we change the official year? Quality silica from Neyveli Welcome GST The star of Spencers is no more L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Polls and promises Fortune 500 review Modi storms Silicon Valley Pharma – overdose of copying Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Silver Years of Madras Musings Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Mersal magnified A think tank for Chennai Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Boy, can you beat these? Telangana in top gear… Secularism and anti-Hinduism Small units prefers to remain small... West Bengal: mindless malignancy Kinetic Karnataka The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Delhi is distant… CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Airlines in India: cost and space Delhi Chalo... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? 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Chennai devastated Road development slows down Vibrant Gujarat Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Welcome focus on core competence Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Why land prices zoom in TN? The rise and rise of KCP A glass full of corruption Make standards certification mandatory... The Jan Dhan bonanza Noble nonagenarians... He continues the focus on social amelioration Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Plummeting profits of PSBs The balancing act No Maha Koottani in TN... Strengthen the base... IPL type auction for VCs? MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Tatas moving out of urea production... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Haul over the coal Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Multi-faceted Venkat ONGC at KG Basin Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Revive development banks... TIAM turns a full cycle Editor's Says CII projects higher growth… No engine for this car Come elections, come advertisements... Convulsions in The Hindu A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Making ‘my Amaravati’... Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Tax agriculture Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Kulandai was a giant Funding the un-funded Readers' Mail Banning booze... Medical costs hit the roof... Breaththrough in malaria control A yen for wastage… Shale gas and its shallow future Another Indian music maestro at the UN Shipping woes of Chennai companies A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science GNS - 100: our first subscriber Cement prices continue to rise… Solar, solar everywhere … Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Sweet news for TN sugar mills There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! B H Kothari - a tribute Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad The Gulf aviation boom Permanent secretariat for TN GIM The nuclear option Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! The brown list of Venkitaramanan Tatas moving out of urea production... Why this malaise in medical education? Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Things happen by accident and not by design... The why of tax incentives Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Gay abandon in pricing He saved millions from starvation... Adharma of opposition politics The sea- saw battle continues... Tribute When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Delhi is distant Robber barons everywhere SoA @ 80 Shanti and Sadhana through Music Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai An inexplicable neglect Cutting the nose to spite the face An enemy’s enemy is a friend Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami More tributes to GR Preserving for the future Return to king coal for urea... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Modi and the lady A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik A rich pool of talent not utilised…. A professional at the helm of IRDA... Discoms deserve better… Demise of a media baron... Intellectual of rare qualities Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Contrarian cousins The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu IAS invades NDDB... 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Welcome GST

Strong leaders of regional political parties like J Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi could defy attempts by the Centre to bring about significant policy changes. With the over-emphasis on welfare measures that result in the proliferation of freebies and massive subsidies, Tamil Nadu’s finances were in bad shape. Remember the state, refusing to reform the power sector? The state delayed the formation of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, resisted separation of generation and distribution through separate companies (neighbouring Andhra Pradesh did this to great benefit)... The finances of the electricity board were in a mess with regular losses and mounting debts. Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister routinely resisted several proposals of the Centre to the detriment of the state’s economy. She was also unmindful of the harm done to the state’s economy by such an attitude. 

A weak Centre under the UPA, dependent on the support of several regional parties, was unable to prevail over such strong local leaders. Such an attitude has also been giving rise to agitations by special interest groups. We witnessed these in recent times in the opposition to the hydrocarbon project in Vadivasal, the constant agitations by lawyers, farmers and more recently, by government doctors and transport workers. One can witness the impact of a strong Central government with a single party commanding majority in the Lok Sabha. The Modi government has been able to stand firm and not yield to demands considered unfair. One hopes pressure groups would realise the futility of protesting issues that had received extensive support on the national plane. The state leadership should also weigh the overall benefits to society not influenced by demands of sectoral interests. 

The traders’ lobby has gained considerable support and clout in recent years. On 5 May of every year, traders’ associations across the state observe the traders day and show their solidarity by closing all shops! The association presents a list of demands seeking special favours. 

The services sector that includes such trading is estimated to account for over 60 per cent of the GDP, but it has been accounting for less than 10 per cent of total tax revenues. Despite substantial growth traders have been successfully resisting attempts to bring their operation under the tax net. 25 years ago Dr. Manmohan Singh, as finance minister, proposed a simple presumptive tax ,of just Rs. 1400 pa, with no questions asked on books kept. The trader lobby successfully resisted and forced the government to withdraw this tax. State governments also lack efforts in bringing this huge section, quite a portion of this prosperous, under the tax net. 

The GST system, one hopes, would address this issue. This single factor can increase tax revenues substantially. This is yet another area for the Centre to focus. 


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