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EVM is tamper-proof Cutting the nose to spite the face Adharma of opposition politics TELANGANA at last…BUT A proud Madrasi Roaring Ro-Ro facility For whom the bell tolls? Things happen by accident and not by design... Solar thermal shines… Gay abandon in pricing Auto components surge… The Jan Dhan bonanza Robber barons everywhere Modi storms Silicon Valley Remembering Indira Sivasailam... IAS invades NDDB... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... The nuclear option The few handicaps... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad A think tank for Chennai Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... IPL - no surprise this scam Gas is the way forward Towards speedy justice Silver Years of Madras Musings Kudos to NDTV... Pharma – overdose of copying L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Rahman at CIC Maximising the micro pricing … Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna EEC at the National Media Centre S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Welcome GST Tatas moving out of urea production... China invests in India More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Mersal magnified Welcome focus on core competence Protest masters... Delhi returns to BJP Align crops to agro climate endowments… Wise Presidents Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Valli, they are more marginalised When the President was rendered homeless… Solar, solar everywhere … Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL The Swadeshi Trump Quality education through the PPP mode Marketing expert Balagopal is no more TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Boy, can you beat these? Why land prices zoom in TN? Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Sweeter prospects for sugar Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Sri Lanka votes for change The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu A rich pool of talent not utilised…. The star of Spencers is no more Editor's Says Plummeting profits of PSBs Shale gas and its shallow future The why of tax incentives Convulsions in The Hindu Medical costs hit the roof... 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Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist He saved millions from starvation... Fuel for thought Paytm karo... SoA @ 80 TIAM turns a full cycle TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Another Indian music maestro at the UN New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Russi Mody – a tribute The rise and fall of Annamalai University London, London Narayan Return to king coal for urea... Revving up the manufacturing sector Waning interest in public discussions… Tatas moving out of urea production... How Air-India loses customs... IPL type auction for VCs? Five star activism stalls development activity A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… No Maha Koottani in TN... 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Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Tax agriculture 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 Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet When small is no larger beautiful.. Revive development banks... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan A welcome initiative by the judiciary Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Telangana in top gear…
 
Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses...

There is the expected protest from brick and mortar companies over the blitzkrieg of promotions unleashed by e-commerce companies. The latest to join are the retailers of drugs and pharma products.

These arise over a couple of concerns: the first is the additions to cost made at different points of the distributor chain in conventional marketing; these also involve hefty costs of real estate: setting up retail stores at vantage points in cities and towns does involve huge costs on rental space. This is especially high for metros and large cities. There are the additional hassles of transportation, parking, transfer of goods from the shop to home, etc.

There are also tax issues. Luckily, with a certain uniformity in state sales tax rates brought about by the Vajpayee government, this issue has softened to a considerable extent. States are bound to raise concern over loss of revenue through e-commerce across the nation from warehouses kept at areas of low cost.

The other issue relates to regulation and quality. Pharma dealers point to e-commerce companies dealing with prescription drugs. They question how a drug prescribed by a doctor could be sold through such companies. But the drug trade at retail level is marked by several unsavoury practices and huge mark up  in prices.

I witnessed a curious instance of extending such protest to ludicrous levels. I was looking at the pricing of hearing aids. The ENT specialist suggested a well-known dealer in this line. When I enquired, the local dealer indicated the cost for the instrument at around Rs  62,000 for each ear. My children working in the US,  checked with Amazon and found a piece of same specification to cost around Rs 19,000! When the issue was taken to the managing director of the sole distributor in India, he tried to explain it away by saying that instruments may not carry warranty and none of the dealers would provide servicing to the instruments purchased online.

Hearing aid tuning can be done by an audiologist. But the manufacturers working as a cartel, refuse to extend warranty on products sold online! At such high prices, relief is not available to the average citizen.

 

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