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

“The government lives from moment to moment. There is hardly any thinking in formulating policies. The finance statement in the budget papers appear like a Chinese menu card. Hundreds of files pile up and there is a series of meetings to attend. Where is the time to think? Therefore the Government of India doesn’t think. Things happen by accident and not by design!”

Such candid views can come only from a seasoned politician with deep insights into the working of government. Yashwant Sinha, is a 1960 batch member of the IAS and later Finance Minister during the crisis year of 1991 and during 1998 -2002 in the NDA 1 when the economy flourished. Delivering the first G  Ramachandran Memorial Lecture in Chennai, Sinha illustrated this maxim describing the course of the liberalisation of the insurance sector.

Sinha referred to P Chidambaram as Finance Minister piloting a bill to reform the insurance sector during 1996-97 when Deve Gowda headed a fragile coalition government supported by the leftists (the CPI was part of this government). But when the alliance partners opposed, the bill was withdrawn.

“In 1998 N Rangachary (Chairman-Insurance Regulation and Development Authority) came to see me. A member of IA&AS and of my batch, we were old friends and I had great faith in him. NR convinced me on permitting private players and foreign partners into the insurance sector. But for NR, this opening up would not have happened.

“The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance was headed by Murli Deora. We were personal friends. We worked to manipulate the committee to open up the sector. A new version of the bill was presented to the Parliament. We had several meetings. The Congress Party agreed to support the bill but wanted foreign direct investment limited to 26 per cent. He had no choice and agreed to this.

“In 2004, Chidambaram wanted to raise this to 49 per cent. But, the coalition government supported by the Communists from outside, did not agree and threatened to walk out. So, the bill could not be taken up until 2008 when the Communists were out of the go

vernment. It was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. I was the Chairman of the Standing Committee. The Congress leaders reminded me of the NDA government initially opting for a 49 per cent limit. But, we wouldn’t then agree! And the matter could not progress.

“The NDA is today in favour of increasing the limit to 49 per cent. Of course, the Congress is still hesitant and the bill is still pending!”

Sinha described GR as an icon to be emulated for his brilliant administration. GR had the unique experience of working with several giants and commanded their respect and attention. These included Rajaji, Kamaraj and C N Annadurai in Tamil Nadu and Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, R Venkataraman and Manmohan Singh at the Centre. Known for rich contributions to finance administration at the Centre and the state. With his invaluable inputs, especially to Indira Gandhi, for many of her socialistic initiatives like bank nationalisation and ‘stray thoughts’, GR, in a sense, contradicted Sinha’s dictum that “the government didn’t think, things happened by accident and not by design.”

I have had the opportunity to interact with Sinha at the Economic Editors’ Conferences during 1998-2002. I remember the smooth manner in which he piloted the rather complex move to introduce uniform sales tax for states. Remember his party was leading a loose coalition of over 20 parties, most of these regional and BJP did not have control over most of the states? His ability to convince the leftists, involving Jyoti Basu as head of the committee of a group of state chief ministers and later the West Bengal Finance Minister Ashok Mitra as the head of the empowered committee of state finance ministers was a master stroke in the implementation of the uniform sales tax.


Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236