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A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Shale gas and its shallow future Editor's Says When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Discoms deserve better… Mersal magnified The rise and fall of Annamalai University 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 IAS invades NDDB... Mu Sigma – is no more SoA @ 80 Airlines in India: cost and space Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Breaththrough in malaria control Where a state respects its litterateurs… CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V This scant respect for Law When small is no larger beautiful.. Welcome GST Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated No engine for this car Strengthen the base... R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Waning interest in public discussions… The Swadeshi Trump The brown list of Venkitaramanan Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ IPL type auction for VCs? The star of Spencers is no more More tributes to GR A glass full of corruption Medical costs hit the roof... A yen for wastage… Return to king coal for urea... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Wanted: a second airport for Chennai GM Technology at last! S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Intellectual of rare qualities Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Rahman at CIC Auto components surge… Revive development banks... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Secularism and anti-Hinduism TELANGANA at last…BUT Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Muffled voices for merit… Pharma – overdose of copying Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Should we change the official year? Tatas moving out of urea production... Come elections, come advertisements... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Telangana in top gear… Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Music happens Kudos to NDTV... TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks The nuclear option Recognition to role of NBFCs.... 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A friendly business group Contrarian cousins S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health B H Kothari - a tribute More heat than light All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Remembering Indira Sivasailam... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Revving up the manufacturing sector The few handicaps... Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Which side are you, Montek? Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Quality education through the PPP mode Russi Mody – a tribute Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Engineering seats go abegging Wise Presidents Things happen by accident and not by design... China invests in India Another Indian music maestro at the UN A proud Madrasi Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... EEC at the National Media Centre Making ‘my Amaravati’... Moily’s bold thrust F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing TIAM turns a full cycle CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Streamlining mandatory third party cover TGS- The king storyteller Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Building loyalty through the stomach When nations steal growth from one another… Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Banning booze... When the President was rendered homeless… Fortune for Indian Airlines Cement prices continue to rise… London, London Narayan Shipping woes of Chennai companies Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform More Shakti to resource mobilisation... CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Put expensive assets created to use... No Maha Koottani in TN... An enemy’s enemy is a friend Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Convulsions in The Hindu GNS - 100: our first subscriber Nuclear power at the nucleus Editor's Notes Boy, can you beat these? CII projects higher growth… Paytm karo... Cutting the nose to spite the face L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Tribute Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ PC’s preference for professionals …and of a popular trade leader Valli, they are more marginalised Where is Rajaji? The rise and rise of KCP Plummeting profits of PSBs Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Protest masters... Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Modi storms Silicon Valley Funding the un-funded Adharma of opposition politics The Gulf aviation boom Maximising the micro pricing … Modi and the lady Tatas moving out of urea production... Sweeter prospects for sugar A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Haul over the coal Tribute – M V Murugappan A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Demise of a media baron... Sweet news for TN sugar mills PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Shanti and Sadhana through Music WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik The sea- saw battle continues... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School ONGC at KG Basin Road development slows down Tax agriculture A think tank for Chennai A more liberated TN… Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Solar thermal shines… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Preserving for the future Kulandai was a giant West Bengal: mindless malignancy Why this malaise in medical education? Permanent secretariat for TN GIM An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... 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Welcome GST

Strong leaders of regional political parties like J Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi could defy attempts by the Centre to bring about significant policy changes. With the over-emphasis on welfare measures that result in the proliferation of freebies and massive subsidies, Tamil Nadu’s finances were in bad shape. Remember the state, refusing to reform the power sector? The state delayed the formation of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, resisted separation of generation and distribution through separate companies (neighbouring Andhra Pradesh did this to great benefit)... The finances of the electricity board were in a mess with regular losses and mounting debts. Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister routinely resisted several proposals of the Centre to the detriment of the state’s economy. She was also unmindful of the harm done to the state’s economy by such an attitude. 

A weak Centre under the UPA, dependent on the support of several regional parties, was unable to prevail over such strong local leaders. Such an attitude has also been giving rise to agitations by special interest groups. We witnessed these in recent times in the opposition to the hydrocarbon project in Vadivasal, the constant agitations by lawyers, farmers and more recently, by government doctors and transport workers. One can witness the impact of a strong Central government with a single party commanding majority in the Lok Sabha. The Modi government has been able to stand firm and not yield to demands considered unfair. One hopes pressure groups would realise the futility of protesting issues that had received extensive support on the national plane. The state leadership should also weigh the overall benefits to society not influenced by demands of sectoral interests. 

The traders’ lobby has gained considerable support and clout in recent years. On 5 May of every year, traders’ associations across the state observe the traders day and show their solidarity by closing all shops! The association presents a list of demands seeking special favours. 

The services sector that includes such trading is estimated to account for over 60 per cent of the GDP, but it has been accounting for less than 10 per cent of total tax revenues. Despite substantial growth traders have been successfully resisting attempts to bring their operation under the tax net. 25 years ago Dr. Manmohan Singh, as finance minister, proposed a simple presumptive tax ,of just Rs. 1400 pa, with no questions asked on books kept. The trader lobby successfully resisted and forced the government to withdraw this tax. State governments also lack efforts in bringing this huge section, quite a portion of this prosperous, under the tax net. 

The GST system, one hopes, would address this issue. This single factor can increase tax revenues substantially. This is yet another area for the Centre to focus. 


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