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Boy, can you beat these? Moily’s bold thrust Gay abandon in pricing A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… IPL - no surprise this scam Preserving for the future IPL type auction for VCs? Make standards certification mandatory... CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... A professional at the helm of IRDA... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Why this malaise in medical education? Quality silica from Neyveli All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Should we change the official year? CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? A welcome initiative by the judiciary The balancing act Cutting the nose to spite the face Mu Sigma – is no more An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Readers' Mail Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Delhi is distant Small units prefers to remain small... Convulsions in The Hindu Sweeter prospects for sugar Maximising the micro pricing … Contrarian cousins Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet When small is no larger beautiful.. S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Cement prices continue to rise… Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai TIAM turns a full cycle Another Indian music maestro at the UN Silver Years of Madras Musings Muffled voices for merit… Vibrant Gujarat Tough task taking states together Shale gas and its shallow future An enemy’s enemy is a friend Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Multi-faceted Venkat Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... A proud Madrasi Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The rise and fall of Annamalai University Which side are you, Montek? Intellectual of rare qualities Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Protest masters... Nuclear power at the nucleus Mersal magnified Put expensive assets created to use... When online building permits work…. Excel Generators provide the vital back-up West Bengal: mindless malignancy Solar, solar everywhere … Making ‘my Amaravati’... Things happen by accident and not by design... Modi storms Silicon Valley Road development slows down More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Return to king coal for urea... GM Technology at last! Plummeting profits of PSBs EEC at the National Media Centre Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Tax agriculture Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Discoms deserve better… B H Kothari - a tribute China invests in India Delhi returns to BJP Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! 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Streamlining mandatory third party cover Solar thermal shines… Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Robber barons everywhere Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Tribute ONGC at KG Basin Kinetic Karnataka A friendly business group No engine for this car When Ratan Tata visited SRM F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Paytm karo... Parliament in paralysis... 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 A yen for wastage… Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Haul over the coal Demise of a media baron... Pharma – overdose of copying For whom the bell tolls? A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… The sea- saw battle continues... The why of tax incentives Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna
 
Robber barons everywhere

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described India as a non-tax-compliant society. I go one step forward to say it is also as a non-shameable society.

Even after strictures passed by Justice Michael D’Cunha of the Special Court and confirmed by the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on the shenanigans of J Jayalalithaa and her cohorts, her followers believe that Amma and Chinnamma are demi-gods falsely implicated by the DMK leadership. 

Such nonchalance permeates society. Look at the near impossibility of the government or even the courts to discipline auto rickshaw drivers of Chennai to charge as per metre. Times of India has been running a  spirited campaign demanding this.  Consumers outnumber the auto owners in the Chennai metro at 100:1 but the former is unable to stop this hefty fleecing.

IE has been pointing to, corruption institutionalised in Tamil Nadu. The entire range of activities from getting a building permit to power and water connection to the registration of plots to school and  college admissions, all seethe in corruption.

Recently I had an experience of unlimited avarice: my fridge was tired of cooling and one day fell sick. I googled for an authorised service centre and soon enough its mechanic turned up. This expert, who came along with a set of spares, said he had replaced three parts. When I insisted on getting the old ones, he reluctantly pulled out three from his bag. He produced a bill for Rs.3550 including Rs.3200 for the three new parts and Rs 350 towards service. When I questioned why those simple parts such as a relay and a condenser should cost so much, he said companies make money not on the sale of fridge but on the spares. I handed a cheque for the amount demanded.

The following day I sent my driver to a couple of reputed shops in George Town that deal with refrigerator spares along with the three parts replaced. I got two quotes, the first one for Rs 680 and the second for Rs 480!  I brought this to the notice of the service firm. The manager initially tried to explain the matter away, but then relented. He finally returned the cheque and took a fresh one for Rs 850 (Rs 500 for parts and Rs 350 for labour).

Most customers are not aware of the prices of spares. Large internationally reputed companies like LG Electronics have a duty to ensure the protection of the consumer.

This is no aberration or exception. The auto rickshaw syndrome permeates our society.  There are robber barons everywhere.  Their stock defence: do not our netas do this all the time?  Justice Cunha is right: ‘Yatha Raja thata Praja.’


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