Ad Here  
Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Welcome focus on core competence TGS- The king storyteller GNS - 100: our first subscriber CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Another Indian music maestro at the UN When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School …and of a popular trade leader When the President was rendered homeless… Editor's Notes SoA @ 80 Shale gas and its shallow future Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Tribute – M V Murugappan Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Put expensive assets created to use... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Haul over the coal A professional at the helm of IRDA... Make standards certification mandatory... He continues the focus on social amelioration The few handicaps... Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated The brown list of Venkitaramanan Gay abandon in pricing Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Paytm karo... Solar thermal shines… The rise and rise of KCP Banning booze... Build close rapport with business leaders Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Roaring Ro-Ro facility Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Fortune for Indian Airlines The Swadeshi Trump A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… When small is no larger beautiful.. Russi Mody – a tribute A yen for wastage… S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Making ‘my Amaravati’... Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Music happens Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Preserving for the future Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform For whom the bell tolls? The power-full Hindujas Quality silica from Neyveli Why this malaise in medical education? Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Demise of a media baron... Align crops to agro climate endowments… Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Vibrant Gujarat Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Wanted: a second airport for Chennai A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... London, London Narayan Shipping woes of Chennai companies Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Road development slows down Intellectual of rare qualities CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Gas is the way forward Waning interest in public discussions… Valli, they are more marginalised Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Funding the un-funded More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Tribute Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Readers' Mail Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Revving up the manufacturing sector Adharma of opposition politics 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 Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! EVM is tamper-proof Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu A glass full of corruption China invests in India No engine for this car L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles When Ratan Tata visited SRM Engineering seats go abegging Nuclear power at the nucleus Streamlining mandatory third party cover Contrarian cousins Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Modi and the lady More Shakti to resource mobilisation... B H Kothari - a tribute Noble nonagenarians... Delhi is distant… Building loyalty through the stomach Parliament in paralysis... How Air-India loses customs... Welcome GST Silver Years of Madras Musings Tax agriculture Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Come elections, come advertisements... The sea- saw battle continues... Boy, can you beat these? Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Sweeter prospects for sugar Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Pharma – overdose of copying Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Strengthen the base... Cutting the nose to spite the face Telangana in top gear… Mu Sigma – is no more IAS invades NDDB... Tatas moving out of urea production... Of course, Gujarat is vibrant The rise and fall of Annamalai University When online building permits work…. Convulsions in The Hindu Fortune 500 review Five star activism stalls development activity Discoms deserve better… Where is Rajaji? Wise Presidents Secularism and anti-Hinduism PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Mersal magnified Things happen by accident and not by design... Kudos to NDTV... Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Multi-faceted Venkat When nations steal growth from one another… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Auto components surge… Delhi is distant Muffled voices for merit… Shanti and Sadhana through Music IPL type auction for VCs? PC’s preference for professionals Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya TELANGANA at last…BUT Modi storms Silicon Valley West Bengal: mindless malignancy EEC at the National Media Centre An inexplicable neglect Revive development banks... TIAM turns a full cycle No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Should we change the official year? CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? He saved millions from starvation... Where a state respects its litterateurs… There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Polls and promises Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... CII projects higher growth… The why of tax incentives R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Medical costs hit the roof... Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Moily’s bold thrust Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks A proud Madrasi Return to king coal for urea... The star of Spencers is no more More heat than light Small units prefers to remain small... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Fuel for thought Sweet news for TN sugar mills The Gulf aviation boom This scant respect for Law Plummeting profits of PSBs The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more A rich pool of talent not utilised…. IPL - no surprise this scam More tributes to GR Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai A welcome initiative by the judiciary The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ A think tank for Chennai ONGC at KG Basin WTO Meet: resolved to meet again L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Protest masters... Kinetic Karnataka Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Quality education through the PPP mode Robber barons everywhere The balancing act Cement prices continue to rise… Which side are you, Montek? No Maha Koottani in TN... Editor's Says A more liberated TN… Why land prices zoom in TN? Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Delhi Chalo... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... A friendly business group Towards speedy justice Breaththrough in malaria control GM Technology at last! An enemy’s enemy is a friend Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Sri Lanka votes for change Poor quality of university VCs Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Rahman at CIC TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Tatas moving out of urea production... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS The nuclear option A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Tough task taking states together Maximising the micro pricing … Airlines in India: cost and space Kulandai was a giant MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Delhi returns to BJP The Jan Dhan bonanza Solar, solar everywhere …
Things happen by accident and not by design...

“The government lives from moment to moment. There is hardly any thinking in formulating policies. The finance statement in the budget papers appear like a Chinese menu card. Hundreds of files pile up and there is a series of meetings to attend. Where is the time to think? Therefore the Government of India doesn’t think. Things happen by accident and not by design!”

Such candid views can come only from a seasoned politician with deep insights into the working of government. Yashwant Sinha, is a 1960 batch member of the IAS and later Finance Minister during the crisis year of 1991 and during 1998 -2002 in the NDA 1 when the economy flourished. Delivering the first G  Ramachandran Memorial Lecture in Chennai, Sinha illustrated this maxim describing the course of the liberalisation of the insurance sector.

Sinha referred to P Chidambaram as Finance Minister piloting a bill to reform the insurance sector during 1996-97 when Deve Gowda headed a fragile coalition government supported by the leftists (the CPI was part of this government). But when the alliance partners opposed, the bill was withdrawn.

“In 1998 N Rangachary (Chairman-Insurance Regulation and Development Authority) came to see me. A member of IA&AS and of my batch, we were old friends and I had great faith in him. NR convinced me on permitting private players and foreign partners into the insurance sector. But for NR, this opening up would not have happened.

“The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance was headed by Murli Deora. We were personal friends. We worked to manipulate the committee to open up the sector. A new version of the bill was presented to the Parliament. We had several meetings. The Congress Party agreed to support the bill but wanted foreign direct investment limited to 26 per cent. He had no choice and agreed to this.

“In 2004, Chidambaram wanted to raise this to 49 per cent. But, the coalition government supported by the Communists from outside, did not agree and threatened to walk out. So, the bill could not be taken up until 2008 when the Communists were out of the go

vernment. It was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. I was the Chairman of the Standing Committee. The Congress leaders reminded me of the NDA government initially opting for a 49 per cent limit. But, we wouldn’t then agree! And the matter could not progress.

“The NDA is today in favour of increasing the limit to 49 per cent. Of course, the Congress is still hesitant and the bill is still pending!”

Sinha described GR as an icon to be emulated for his brilliant administration. GR had the unique experience of working with several giants and commanded their respect and attention. These included Rajaji, Kamaraj and C N Annadurai in Tamil Nadu and Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, R Venkataraman and Manmohan Singh at the Centre. Known for rich contributions to finance administration at the Centre and the state. With his invaluable inputs, especially to Indira Gandhi, for many of her socialistic initiatives like bank nationalisation and ‘stray thoughts’, GR, in a sense, contradicted Sinha’s dictum that “the government didn’t think, things happened by accident and not by design.”

I have had the opportunity to interact with Sinha at the Economic Editors’ Conferences during 1998-2002. I remember the smooth manner in which he piloted the rather complex move to introduce uniform sales tax for states. Remember his party was leading a loose coalition of over 20 parties, most of these regional and BJP did not have control over most of the states? His ability to convince the leftists, involving Jyoti Basu as head of the committee of a group of state chief ministers and later the West Bengal Finance Minister Ashok Mitra as the head of the empowered committee of state finance ministers was a master stroke in the implementation of the uniform sales tax.


Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236