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Airlines in India: cost and space …and of a popular trade leader How Air-India loses customs... Robber barons everywhere Revive development banks... L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Nuclear power at the nucleus TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Welcome focus on core competence Protest masters... Modi storms Silicon Valley Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... EVM is tamper-proof Things happen by accident and not by design... Moily’s bold thrust Delhi is distant Align crops to agro climate endowments… The balancing act Fortune for Indian Airlines A more liberated TN… Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Intellectual of rare qualities When Ratan Tata visited SRM The power-full Hindujas WTO Meet: resolved to meet again The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu More Shakthi to Das’ elbow A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… More heat than light Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health More Shakti to resource mobilisation... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Five star activism stalls development activity Kudos to NDTV... B H Kothari - a tribute Revving up the manufacturing sector Muffled voices for merit… Gay abandon in pricing PC’s preference for professionals Banning booze... Solar thermal shines… The few handicaps... Pharma – overdose of copying R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Modi and the lady A yen for wastage… Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Welcome GST Auto components surge… Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Why this malaise in medical education? No engine for this car Funding the un-funded Rahman at CIC Tough task taking states together When the President was rendered homeless… TGS- The king storyteller Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet ONGC at KG Basin The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Noble nonagenarians... Preserving for the future Discoms deserve better… This scant respect for Law Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik More tributes to GR Make standards certification mandatory... Waning interest in public discussions… The star of Spencers is no more IPL - no surprise this scam Cutting the nose to spite the face GM Technology at last! Delhi is distant… The sea- saw battle continues... 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Polls and promises Another Indian music maestro at the UN Fuel for thought Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Kulandai was a giant Editor's Says An inexplicable neglect Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Haul over the coal When small is no larger beautiful.. Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Shanti and Sadhana through Music S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist The nuclear option Where is Rajaji? Remembering Indira Sivasailam... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Sweet news for TN sugar mills Breaththrough in malaria control He saved millions from starvation... Delhi Chalo... A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science IAS invades NDDB... Sweeter prospects for sugar Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Come elections, come advertisements... For whom the bell tolls? Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Valli, they are more marginalised CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? China invests in India TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Roaring Ro-Ro facility Quality silica from Neyveli Shale gas and its shallow future Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model The Gulf aviation boom Russi Mody – a tribute No Maha Koottani in TN... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Road development slows down Sri Lanka votes for change Put expensive assets created to use... The Jan Dhan bonanza West Bengal: mindless malignancy Engineering seats go abegging The brown list of Venkitaramanan Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ He continues the focus on social amelioration Strengthen the base... GNS - 100: our first subscriber Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Poor quality of university VCs Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Plummeting profits of PSBs Medical costs hit the roof... Quality education through the PPP mode Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Tribute – M V Murugappan Why land prices zoom in TN? Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways EEC at the National Media Centre The why of tax incentives S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Alexa – Talking Wikipedia New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Excel Generators provide the vital back-up The Swadeshi Trump Vibrant Gujarat Editor's Notes CII projects higher growth… When online building permits work…. A professional at the helm of IRDA... The rise and rise of KCP Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... 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 Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Tatas moving out of urea production... A think tank for Chennai When nations steal growth from one another… A friendly business group Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Multi-faceted Venkat CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Tribute – UCAL Selvan… TIAM turns a full cycle CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Mersal magnified Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Maximising the micro pricing … Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Music happens L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Telangana in top gear… Wise Presidents Small units prefers to remain small... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL A proud Madrasi Shipping woes of Chennai companies A glass full of corruption Readers' Mail Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Should we change the official year? Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Parliament in paralysis... Mu Sigma – is no more Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria TELANGANA at last…BUT Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Gas is the way forward Demise of a media baron... IPL type auction for VCs? Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai London, London Narayan All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Convulsions in The Hindu Delhi returns to BJP Paytm karo... Building loyalty through the stomach Silver Years of Madras Musings Secularism and anti-Hinduism Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Tribute An enemy’s enemy is a friend Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Fortune 500 review Making ‘my Amaravati’... Adharma of opposition politics Tatas moving out of urea production...
 
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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