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Fortune 500 review When the President was rendered homeless… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ More tributes to GR Modi and the lady For whom the bell tolls? Welcome focus on core competence Kudos to NDTV... Put expensive assets created to use... Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt The Jan Dhan bonanza F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Lalu’s envy, India’s pride CII projects higher growth… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Strengthen the base... He saved millions from starvation... Editor's Says Quality silica from Neyveli Maximising the micro pricing … Haul over the coal More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet More heat than light Secularism and anti-Hinduism More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Delhi Chalo... Shale gas and its shallow future Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Cutting the nose to spite the face Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Boy, can you beat these? The few handicaps... Align crops to agro climate endowments… Where a state respects its litterateurs… Tribute Adharma of opposition politics Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? The Gulf aviation boom A welcome initiative by the judiciary When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Remembering Indira Sivasailam... CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Delhi is distant… IAS invades NDDB... Parliament in paralysis... The brown list of Venkitaramanan SoA @ 80 TGS- The king storyteller Cement prices continue to rise… Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai The nuclear option Shanti and Sadhana through Music Rahman at CIC …and of a popular trade leader IPL type auction for VCs? China invests in India B H Kothari - a tribute Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Modi storms Silicon Valley A yen for wastage… Shipping woes of Chennai companies The star of Spencers is no more An inexplicable neglect TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Valli, they are more marginalised Why this malaise in medical education? Which side are you, Montek? WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Wise Presidents Telangana in top gear… MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Russi Mody – a tribute Medical costs hit the roof... Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Poor quality of university VCs Banning booze... 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Engineering seats go abegging A glass full of corruption PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals When online building permits work…. Sweeter prospects for sugar GNS - 100: our first subscriber The why of tax incentives Tough task taking states together Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Funding the un-funded Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Why land prices zoom in TN? TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! A professional at the helm of IRDA... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Kinetic Karnataka Intellectual of rare qualities For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Noble nonagenarians... PC’s preference for professionals Kulandai was a giant Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai He continues the focus on social amelioration Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Streamlining mandatory third party cover Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Delhi is distant Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Airlines in India: cost and space Breaththrough in malaria control Building loyalty through the stomach Small units prefers to remain small... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Silver Years of Madras Musings London, London Narayan Tribute – M V Murugappan Towards speedy justice Things happen by accident and not by design... Robber barons everywhere Should we change the official year? Paytm karo... Making ‘my Amaravati’... 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
 
China invests in India

Two of our leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, recently visited China. Both attempted to impress the Chinese policymakers and business leaders to expand their investments in India. In Modi’s visit MoUs were signed for around $ 22 billion of investments that included large corporations like Bharti Airtel, the Adani group, Wipro BPS and Jindal Steel and Power.

In the telecom area, Alibaba is reported to be interested in investing in Micromax. There were also expectations on Chinese investing in the Indian Railways. I believe a large scope for drawing on the rich expertise built by the Chinese in constructing high speed rail tracks capable of speeds in the region of 400 kmph. This will be of special value to the golden quadrilateral for railways planned by the NDA II government.

A rather disturbing trend in the two way trade between the two countries is the adverse balance in favour of China. In a volume of $ 70 billion of trade, imports from China amount to around $ 55 billion and exports from India at just around $ 15 billion. This is on the pattern of such imbalance witnessed in the trade of China with US; the huge surpluses generated have been utilised for making massive Chinese investments in US companies and assets.

In the bilateral trade one witnesses steep increase in imports of goods of low technology that have been traditionally manufactured for decades by Indian enterprises, especially in the small sector. In the earlier phase, competition from China affected exports of a vast range of goods from India from this sector like textiles and garments. But today such products are making deep inroads into Indian markets on the strength of their much lower prices. These range from cheap Ganesha idols to fire crackers to glass, ceramic tiles, electrical and electronic goods.

Many state social welfare schemes provided to ameliorate the lot of the poor and weaker sections involving thousands of crores of rupees, sadly, do not go to the benefit of hundreds of small units. Tamil Nadu government provides a few thousand crores of rupees worth fans, mixies, grinders…. to the weaker sections and laptops to students through liberal budget support. Small scale manufacturers of these equipment, who tendered for supplies find it cheaper to import these from China rather than produce these in their factories. The result is the lack of accountability. Such equipment are not covered by any warranty and do not perform well. Cost of repairing these are also high and such a beneficial scheme to the weaker sections seems to benefit only the manufacturers of cheap goods in China.

Gradually such damage is also creeping into better organised segments like the manufacture of ceramic tiles. Gujarat made excellent use of gas as the fuel for such manufacture. In a matter of a decade the entire Rajkot district and its environs emerged as a strong centre for ceramic tiles. In recent times, these have been accounting for a lion’s share in the market for tiles. Today under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules there is easy entry and Chinese have made deep inroads into this market. Similar is the experience of the once flourishing manufacturers of clocks in Gujarat.

To save hundreds of small units and employment of several lakhs, it is urgently necessary to tackle this issue. Think tanks should work on schemes of intelligent non-tariff barriers.

There is not much scope for expanding Indian exports of sophisticated, value-added products to China. IE has been suggesting India to focus on export of agricultural products that are in huge demand in that country. China imports millions of tonnes of soya from far away Latin American countries. India can try to get a share of this by leveraging its advantages of large arable land and of farming feasible round the year in most parts of the country. But this needs strong policy changes that would permit contract farming and corporate farming over large areas. With agriculture as a state subject, such a change is possible only by building consensus across the vast political spectrum.

As BJP is in power in several large states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra and with the business-savvy Chandrababu Naidu as a strong ally such a change can be attempted at least in these states.

 

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