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

Such a facility has also been utilised by powerful corporates and wealthy educational institutions exploiting the loopholes in the legal system and delaying decisions as long as possible. Of course, these could afford the services of legal luminaries at exorbitant fees.

I remember such luminaries helped large corporates like ITC to defer tax liability over long periods in the 1980s. One of the issues was the excise duty levied on goods produced. ITC and large vehicle manufacturers like Tata Motors used to transfer stocks to warehouses in different states paying excise duty on factory gate manufacturing costs that were kept low. The costs were marked up from the warehouses to distributors and dealers ends causing sizeable losses in excise revenue. These added up to around Rs 800 crore plus for ITC alone. Large number of other manufacturers of goods followed this practice by resorting to litigation. Legal luminaries like N A Palkivala provided needed relief to the corporates. The plea of the tax collectors had no effect and the economy went downhill reaching the nadir in 1991. 

The brilliant civil servant S Venkitaramanan thought of dealing with these in an unconventional way. As finance secretary, he sat over the files of the Tatas who had to get the government’s clearance for importing a mothballed steel plant from Europe. This had to be done within a deadline and the file wouldn’t move. Venkitaramanan succeeded in persuading the company to cough up a portion of the disputed bulging tax claims! When he was asked at the Economic Editors’ Conference whether it was a sort of a black listing of such firms, in his characteristic humour he responded: “you can call it the brown list.” 

Like what Jerome K Jerome said, the method may be crude but it was effective.



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