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TN Guidance Bureau geared for attracting copious investments

Dr K P Karthikeyan, with an MBBS degree from Coimbatore Medical College and Executive Director, TN Guidance Bureau, brings with him experience in working as deputy collector in two districts and a stint at the Union Ministry of Commerce.

I remember the extensive work put by the Guidance Bureau in conducting the Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet in 2019. The success of GIM in attracting record investments of over Rs 3 lakh crore is getting consolidated by translating the commitments into actions. In the several visits to the Guidance Bureau, I found Karthikeyan and his team working beyond 9 pm for weeks before GIM.

This schedule is continued post-GIM. There have been efforts to enhance vastly the professional content and approach of the Bureau. With the help of CII, six young professionals have been drawn from leading consultancy organizations on deputation. The Bureau plans to recruit more. The focus is on the ease of doing business, upgrading systems and quicken the time to respond.

The Bureau plans to move to a 12,000 sq.ft new space at the TIIC building at Nandanam. A detailed plan to restructure the operations is underway. These changes are being brought about under the Invest India plan of the Government of India. Guidance Bureau is working its plan of action drawing from several World Bank initiatives.

The Bureau will now have a rich complement of expertise at the helm. N Muruganandam, Principal Secretary, Industry Department, is a product of the College of Engineering, Guindy, and IIM-A graduate. He has rich experience in serving at the Ministry of Shipping and as the representative of the state at Delhi.

Dr. Neeraj Mittal has taken charge as the Executive Vice Chairman & CEO. Mittal graduated from IIT-Kanpur, an MBA from Cranfield University and a Ph.D. in Economics and MIS from Ohio State University. Of particular interest to the state is his work as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. He can help leverage the Indian Oil gas facility at Ennore and the GAIL gas pipeline to win handsome investments in gas-based industries.

Arun Roy, Special Secretary, Industry and Dr. K P Karthikeyan, the other directors of the Bureau, teamed well in conducting the GIM 2019. In contrast to the everyday experience of a lull after a significant event, it is refreshing to see the Guidance Bureau energized with such abundant talent at the helm!

Comfort in TN power situation

“Power position of Tamil Nadu appears reasonably comfortable,” said Akshayakumar, Chairman, Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC).” Copious power from wind energy gives a lot of strength from May to August. The completion of long-distance transmission lines has also provided the facility to draw power from surplus areas in times of need. This facility also provides for purchasing power at competitive rates,” said Kumar.

In non-conventional energy sources like wind power and solar power, sizeable capacities have been built in Tamil Nadu. Kumar pointed to the problem of synchronizing uneven flows from these sources with the base load stations. Regarding solar energy, availability is from around 8 am to about 4 pm with wide fluctuations. During these hours, demand is not at the peak and in the absence of facility to store, balancing the flows poses difficulties, Kumar pointed out.

There are also a few issues like a renewal of environment clearance for projects that get delayed like power units in north Madras or draining the sea water into the sea after cooling steam at ambient temperatures. Solutions are being found, said Kumar.

With new capacity being added, Kumar points to comfort in the power front in the state.

GST / Demon receive wholesome praise from the tax expert SR

At 92, S Rajaratnam (SR) is still practicing as an advocate and tax consultant. A prolific writer on complex tax matters, he brings with him rich experience as the Commissioner of Income Tax, Member-Income Tax Appellate

Tribunal and extended his expertise to a large number of national and international bodies. Along with the brilliant chartered accountant, D Rangaswamy, he was active at the Society of Auditors and functioned as its honorary director. A recent book of his has 47 essays on philosophy-law, environment, reforms, and welfare in clear, simple terms.

I remember his column in The Hindu on Tax Matters continued for a few years, clarifying queries and doubts in simple terms.

I had the privilege of receiving him recently at the Economist House. In a wide-ranging discussion, I heard Rajaratnam positive about the two reform measures of the Modi government – demonetization and GST: “in any debate which is often politicized, the truth being the casualty as between romantic exaggeration of benefits or a gloomy forecast of doom. Tackling counterfeit currency or corruption may not be all that effective, but the collection of revenue on the declared amounts and voluntary admissions under the scheme have been significant as more than 99 per cent of the high denomination notes in circulation had been encashed or brought into circulation. The surge in revenue collections post-GST should also indicate the effectiveness of the measure,” said SR.


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