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Welcome GST Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... EVM is tamper-proof Welcome focus on core competence Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Modi and the lady The nuclear option When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Shanti and Sadhana through Music Solar thermal shines… Discoms deserve better… Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Building loyalty through the stomach Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing The brown list of Venkitaramanan The balancing act WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Quality education through the PPP mode Streamlining mandatory third party cover Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Modi storms Silicon Valley Come elections, come advertisements... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai More heat than light TGS- The king storyteller Road development slows down The star of Spencers is no more Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Shipping woes of Chennai companies Airlines in India: cost and space Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Funding the un-funded The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more A friendly business group Fuel for thought B H Kothari - a tribute Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan The rise and rise of KCP Five star activism stalls development activity The why of tax incentives Small units prefers to remain small... 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Quality silica from Neyveli Waning interest in public discussions… Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked TIAM turns a full cycle Telangana in top gear… Protest masters... Wise Presidents The few handicaps... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Nuclear power at the nucleus The sea- saw battle continues... Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks EEC at the National Media Centre Delhi is distant Tribute – M V Murugappan A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Marketing expert Balagopal is no more No Maha Koottani in TN... The Swadeshi Trump Haul over the coal TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Another Indian music maestro at the UN Valli, they are more marginalised The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Medical costs hit the roof... 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There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Delhi returns to BJP Moily’s bold thrust Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL He continues the focus on social amelioration Things happen by accident and not by design... A more liberated TN… For whom the bell tolls? Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ 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 Tribute – UCAL Selvan… PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Tatas moving out of urea production... Delhi is distant… Breaththrough in malaria control Cutting the nose to spite the face Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Solar, solar everywhere … Where is Rajaji? PC’s preference for professionals Secularism and anti-Hinduism Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Editor's Notes China invests in India All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Tax agriculture Noble nonagenarians... Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Intellectual of rare qualities Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Robber barons everywhere Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… When nations steal growth from one another… Paytm karo... A welcome initiative by the judiciary New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Muffled voices for merit… Fortune 500 review ONGC at KG Basin Why land prices zoom in TN? L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Convulsions in The Hindu He saved millions from starvation... Sweet news for TN sugar mills A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Which side are you, Montek? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Kudos to NDTV... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Banning booze... Kulandai was a giant More Shakti to resource mobilisation... The rise and fall of Annamalai University Music happens R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Russi Mody – a tribute Editor's Says How Air-India loses customs... Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Cement prices continue to rise… West Bengal: mindless malignancy TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Readers' Mail Demise of a media baron... Fortune for Indian Airlines London, London Narayan Towards speedy justice Contrarian cousins Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Put expensive assets created to use... Why this malaise in medical education? Revive development banks... Silver Years of Madras Musings This scant respect for Law Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health CII projects higher growth… Tribute Sweeter prospects for sugar An enemy’s enemy is a friend Tatas moving out of urea production... SoA @ 80 IPL type auction for VCs? For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Gay abandon in pricing Multi-faceted Venkat Plummeting profits of PSBs Where a state respects its litterateurs… An inexplicable neglect Sri Lanka votes for change Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Adharma of opposition politics Build close rapport with business leaders Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research A proud Madrasi Delhi Chalo... Strengthen the base... Permanent secretariat for TN GIM GNS - 100: our first subscriber Wanted: a second airport for Chennai
 
Haul over the coal

The NDA II government has been taking strong action against political bigwigs, bureaucrats and business leaders on charges of corruption. The conviction of the former Coal Secretary, H C Gupta to a two year jail term by a special court for corruption in allotting a coal block to a private company has, understandably, been protested by the IAS Association. 

An ex-civil servant pointed to the risk of senior bureaucrats not taking decisions on crucial issues on fears of such punishment even for errors of judgment on honest appraisals. I remember the time when ministers and senior civil servants took bold decisions with the objective of economic development. In the 1950s and 1960s R Venkataraman, as Minister of Industry, Tamil Nadu, encouraged the state industrial development corporations to obtain licences and to offer these to  prospective entrepreneurs. 

Several of the civil servants even took bold to differ with the minister. I cite an instance of K P Geethakrishnan as TN Industry Secretary and K Venkatesan as Finance Secretary resisting the direction of Chief Minister MGR to clear the proposal to set up the bagasse- based Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd. They pointed to the risk involved in the state committing over Rs 250 crore on a single project based on unproven technology. MGR had to transfer these out of their posts to get the project cleared!

Dozens of projects cleared in the joint sector by the state development corporations failed causing considerable losses. But neither the civil servants nor the political leadership were blamed for these. Of course, times were different: the level of honesty of the politicians and the bureaucrats across the board was pretty high and integrity beyond reproach. 

The coal allocation case is different. Persons totally unconnected with the coal sector jumped into the fray, eg. Minister S Jagatrakshakan applied for such a licence for a company registered in Puducherry. We also had earlier the instance of the property developer, Unitech, successfully bidding for a telecom licence and later selling it at a huge profit to Nortel. There is the responsibility on the part of senior bureaucrats to exercise due caution on such speculative bidders. In the case of the coal scam, such diligent scrutiny seems to be missing and bureaucracy at the top seems to have failed in the whole exercise resulting in a scam of gargantuan proportions.



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