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For whom the bell tolls? Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Muffled voices for merit… MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Nuclear power at the nucleus Solar, solar everywhere … Protest masters... Contrarian cousins Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy West Bengal: mindless malignancy CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet For whom the MIDS bell tolls? A professional at the helm of IRDA... Solar thermal shines… All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Shale gas and its shallow future Russi Mody – a tribute TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Tatas moving out of urea production... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research A proud Madrasi New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Medical costs hit the roof... More heat than light A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Delhi is distant… Adharma of opposition politics TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Robber barons everywhere Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities The nuclear option Editor's Says Fortune for Indian Airlines An enemy’s enemy is a friend Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Parliament in paralysis... Computation of GDP – conundrums continue L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Cement prices continue to rise… Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated The rise and fall of Annamalai University A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Gas is the way forward Shanti and Sadhana through Music TELANGANA at last…BUT Welcome focus on core competence Moily’s bold thrust Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik A more liberated TN… Modi storms Silicon Valley The rise and rise of KCP 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 Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... China invests in India Auto components surge… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... A friendly business group Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Making ‘my Amaravati’... Banning booze... The Swadeshi Trump Cutting the nose to spite the face Delhi returns to BJP Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science London, London Narayan Readers' Mail Tatas moving out of urea production... Rahman at CIC Make standards certification mandatory... Put expensive assets created to use... Kinetic Karnataka Demise of a media baron... 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Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Revving up the manufacturing sector Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Gay abandon in pricing Maximising the micro pricing … Wise Presidents Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Kulandai was a giant Excel Generators provide the vital back-up More tributes to GR Fortune 500 review When nations steal growth from one another… Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Five star activism stalls development activity The few handicaps... Mersal magnified Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Delhi Chalo... Fuel for thought Another Indian music maestro at the UN TGS- The king storyteller When the President was rendered homeless… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Tough task taking states together Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai This scant respect for Law A glass full of corruption Strengthen the base... No engine for this car Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS EVM is tamper-proof Airlines in India: cost and space R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! He saved millions from starvation... Vibrant Gujarat Should we change the official year? Plummeting profits of PSBs Roaring Ro-Ro facility Come elections, come advertisements... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Editor's Notes A welcome initiative by the judiciary Lalu’s envy, India’s pride A yen for wastage… Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna The Jan Dhan bonanza Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! PC’s preference for professionals Quality silica from Neyveli Why this malaise in medical education? Welcome GST Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Towards speedy justice The Gulf aviation boom The balancing act Sweet news for TN sugar mills WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Discoms deserve better… Pharma – overdose of copying IAS invades NDDB... Intellectual of rare qualities Polls and promises Tribute CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Haul over the coal S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Telangana in top gear… Remembering Indira Sivasailam... The brown list of Venkitaramanan A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Road development slows down Paytm karo... Where a state respects its litterateurs… ONGC at KG Basin Return to king coal for urea... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Sweeter prospects for sugar Noble nonagenarians... IPL - no surprise this scam An inexplicable neglect Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Poor quality of university VCs More Shakti to resource mobilisation... No Maha Koottani in TN... Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Delhi is distant GNS - 100: our first subscriber Quality education through the PPP mode The why of tax incentives Which side are you, Montek? Align crops to agro climate endowments… Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Kudos to NDTV... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Boy, can you beat these? B H Kothari - a tribute When online building permits work…. Revive development banks... Mu Sigma – is no more TIAM turns a full cycle Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Tribute – M V Murugappan Where is Rajaji? Waning interest in public discussions… Convulsions in The Hindu When small is no larger beautiful.. EEC at the National Media Centre There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! He continues the focus on social amelioration Sri Lanka votes for change Secularism and anti-Hinduism Music happens Preserving for the future Valli, they are more marginalised The power-full Hindujas SoA @ 80 When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's When Ratan Tata visited SRM Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Marketing expert Balagopal is no more The star of Spencers is no more IPL type auction for VCs? Build close rapport with business leaders …and of a popular trade leader Small units prefers to remain small... Breaththrough in malaria control Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Why land prices zoom in TN? Building loyalty through the stomach
 
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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