Jayalalithaa’s trusted lieutenant O Panneerselvam has taken over the responsibility of managing the heavy portfolios handled by her, and also to preside over the cabinet. As a self-effacing and loyal follower, he could be expected to carry out the administration smoothly.
The state suffers from a few handicaps. These include:
- Taking strong and independent stances that have resulted in adversarial relations with the Centre, neighbouring states and the judiciary.
- A striking example is the opposition to the GST.
- The propensity to file cases against opposition, media... for criticising the policies.
- The lack of cooperation with the Centre on major policies already cleared. eg: the laying of the gas pipeline through Tamil Nadu, the methane project, the elevated highway connectivity of
- Chennai and Ennore ports...
- The state has not been taking active
- interest in the efficient running of
- several Central PSUs.
- Inability to monitor corruption by ministers and other powerful mining mafia. eg. Agri Krishnamurthy, Vaidyanathan, V Moorthy and Natham Viswanathan.
- An overzealous focus on social welfare through offer of freebies to the neglect of investments on development
- A not too healthy state of the state’s finances. Huge public debt with massive expenditure on debt servicing, heavy outgo on pensions of government employees and subsidies on various welfare schemes together cost more than total revenue receipts.
- Civil servants are in fear of independent action. Just look at the fate of outstanding officers, K Gnanadesikan, CMD of TIDCO and Atul Anand, MD of ELCOT suspended, the pension of C V Shankar of the rank of Additional Chief Secretary stopped and M Velmurugan, who was the fervent spokesperson for the state’s industrial development has had his service terminated. These officers were reputed for their dedication and performance for decades.
One hopes Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, after getting back to full health and resuming work, would endeavour to look into these issues and attempt corrections.