Showing posts from 2015

Juvenile Justice - Should we punish them or should we not!

Two kids in school, thirteen year olds, fought with one another. Let us call them A and B. One of them, the boy A broke the nose of the other.
Complaints were made and the matter went to the Principal of the school. Mother of B was all worked up. Look at the way A has broken by son, B's nose. All bloody and harsh. A is a rogue, a rowdy and has to be punished strongly so that he learns his lessons. Mother of A on the other hand says that the fight could have gone either way. It was just fate that B ended up with a broken nose. It could have been A easily. And will mother of B talk about it the same way if it had been the other way round.
For one, most of the 'crimes' of the juvenile are minor in nature. And your own point of view will determine the way you think and behave about such juveniles. Don't we not find neighbouring women who cry hoarse about your kids as if their kids are absolute nice ones.
Right, Nirbhaya is an heinous crime. No doubt. When we make a law, a…

GST - the Government Ploy

So, once more the parliament is going to adjourn the winter session without passing the GST bill. One more year to roll by before we can think of and talk of GST!

What a sham!

Who is to blame for this ruckus? Is it the Opposition, Congress or is it the Government, BJP?

Let us take a look at the history.

Congress brought in the concept of GST way back in 2003 / 4. All the initial teeth that was set in the first draft slowly gave way with every passing day and opposition by the then Opposition Party, BJP and the communist parties.

While Congress wanted taxes to have a more central leaning, the others wanted a state leaning. Neither the Congress yielded nor the others. There are good and bad arguments for either of them. There is no question of who is right and who is wrong. Both of them are right in their own ways.

While so, only an accommodation and a policy of dropping clauses that are not comfortable could have brought the GST out. But unfortunately, this never happened in the last …

GST - what it means to us?

From the vague vantage point that I occupy today, I write this article. Therefore, the information I am privy too is very little except most that is available on the media. Based on this information, I give you another vague perception of what to expect.

However, the lines of progress are clear. GST has grown old under discussion stage itself and has lost most of its original charm.

1. There will be a central GST and a State GST. Sounds very similar to Central Sales Tax and the State Sales Tax. Only advantage, no two numbers. One number but two accounts to pay. You make a mistake, you pay the penalty. They don't adjust between themselves! Same as today. Yes, of course, the Excise is not there! That is a big saving.

2. Who does the scrutiny or audit checks? The fight is still on. Both want the right to do the audit. Because that is where they can make their money. Who would leave that out? From the way, it is progressing, both will end up making the audit on our accounts. Result: …

Goods and Services Tax - the politics behind it.

In order to understand the current situation, we need to take a look at the history of taxation in India, particularly, the Excise and sales tax.

1889 saw the first major taxation act happening in India as the Madras Salt Act under which salt and abhkari (intoxicating drinks and drugs) where the first to be taxed as excise. Excise was the first set of taxation that came into being. Sales tax as we know it today can claim a start during the British regime in 1938 when Tobacco was taxed in Bombay. Before independence, the only other product that was sales taxed was motor spirit or Petrol as we call it today.

Post independence and post republic, the sales tax was set aside for the states to have their own revenue and customs and income tax would be revenue for the Central Government. Excise which was already in vogue was retained by the Centre to tax goods such as tobacco. Excise would be imposed on those goods that have a universal ramification across the country.

Soon, the central gov…

Surplus power in Tamil Nadu and the Power Cuts - Is it for real?

It has been 'ages' (read six months) since we had an announced power cut in Tamil Nadu!

The government boasts of correcting the long standing problem of power in the state. Every consumer in the state would like to know whether this surplus is real and whether he should plan for the dry days now. Or can he lay back and enjoy the situation?

Every seller of power is also in a quandary. Power surplus, they think, is not real. And that it is only a question of time before the surplus will yield place to the old condition of power cuts and Restrictive measures.

Let us get a fair ringside view of what has happened in the last six months that has resulted in the surplus state that we are in today. And then see whether we have reached a steady state condition or are we heading for more volatility in the power sector?

Major problems we faced in the last two years were:
1. Power generation was less than the power requirement. We wanted 14000 MW of power approximately, but generated any…

Delhi's Odd and Even

Following Beijing's example, Delhi has also announced the Odd / Even car usage in the city, to fight the smog. A welcome measure to bring down the smog effects in the city. Every one has to support the cause only then the success or failure of the scheme can be realised.

Apart from this, there are a number of other measures that could also be implemented. It may not be one measure that would give you complete relief. All that can be done is to reduce the pollution gradually and surely.

Let us take a look at the possible suggestions that could be implemented.

1. No motor areas. Markets should be made only walk through or cycle zones. There are many locations in Delhi that could be made only walkable / cycle-able.

2. Revise the entire transport routes. Rework and re-plan! You should keep in mind we pollute more when we are idling the engine. Every time, you change gears from standstill upwards, you are polluting more. What you should look at are: reduce signals by creating more one…

Santhara - Why are the intellectuals quiet?

God created human beings. All religions believe this.

God created all living creatures in this world. All religions believe this.

God created basic instincts in all of these animals. All religions accept this.

The first of the basic instincts is the survival instinct. The right to live for any creature. Every creature tries to survive and live on this world against all odds. It runs away from danger. It hunts down to eat and survive. Walks, flies, swims long distances to survive!

Life is precious! There is only one person who has the right to take it and that is God himself. One who gave it to us!

While so, in the name of santhara do Jains have a right to take away their own life?

For every murder, for every suicide, do you think there is no reason? They always have an excuse to say that they murdered for good. They will always find some logical reason to commit the murder which they did. So is the case with suicide.

Only the depth of the reason could be shallow for a few and pretty …

Operational clarification on wind power banking process in Tamil Nadu

TANGEDCO is the only utility in the country offering an annual banking process of electricity. This was a big motivator and a winner for Tamil Nadu. It catapulted Tamil Nadu to the top renewable energy generator position in the country, so much so, that it generated more wind power than most of the countries in Europe!

Certainly TANGEDCO deserves all kudos for the great work they are doing in this respect. Over a period of time, they have evolved the process of banking and utilising wind energy to a great extent. One more step in the right direction was taken by TANGEDCO when they issued a clarity circular on banking a month back.

CE, NCES, set to rest many issues when he issued this circular dated 25/Jun/2015.

A number of circulars and a string of orders from TNERC did not put to rest the operating ambiguity within TANGEDCO. There were some EDCs offering banking at generation end, some at wheeling end; some said power banked has to be consumed by those to whom it was destined to. Ot…

நீண்ட நாட்களுக்கு பிறகு ஜெயகாந்தன் படித்தேன்.

நீண்ட நாட்களுக்கு பிறகு ஜெயகாந்தன் படித்தேன்.

அம்மா கொடுத்தார்கள். 'உனக்குத் தான் ஜெயகாந்தன் என்றால் பிடிக்குமே!' என்று சொல்லி, என் கைகளில் கொடுத்தார்கள். மறுக்க முடியாமல் வாங்கி வந்தேன் என்று தான் சொல்ல வேண்டும்!

அம்மாவுக்கு எப்படி தெரியும், இப்பொழுது எல்லாம் காண்ரேக்ட்களையும், தொழில் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட செய்திகளையும் படிப்பதற்கே நேரம் போதுவதில்லை என்று?

வாங்கி வந்தது இரு வாரங்கள் தொடப்படாமலேயே ஒரு ஓரத்தில் இருந்தது. மூன்று தினங்களுக்கு முன், அம்மா 'அந்த புத்தகத்தை திருப்பித் தாடா. நான் படிக்க வேண்டும்' என்றார்கள். 'இன்னும் பத்து நாட்களில் கொடுக்கின்றேன்', என்று நேரம் வாங்கிக் கொண்டேன்.

நீண்ட நாட்களுக்கு பிறகு ஜெயகாந்தன் படிக்கத்தான் செய்வோமே!

மூன்று தினங்கள், நான் வேறொரு உலகத்துக்குள் சஞ்சரிக்க தொடங்கினேன். அந்த உலகம், கஷ்டங்களும் நஷ்டங்களும், தனிமையும் மேன்மையும், மாறி மாறி ஏற்பட்டு, ஒரு நிமிடம் நம் கண்கள் வேதனையில் பனிக்கின்றன; மறு நிமிடம், காதலால் கனிகின்றன. ஏற்க முடியாத முடிவுகளை எடுக்கும் பாத்திரங்கள்; மறுக்க முடியாத மறக்க முடியாத நிகழ்வுகள்! அந்த உலகம், ஜெயக…

Open Petition to Coimbatore Corporation for One Tax


Sub: One Corporation One Tax
We, the tax payers of this city, pay our taxes on time, every time. We contribute to the corporation treasury in all the forms that corporation has chosen to impose tax.

We bring to your notice the following important points:

1. Taxes by every government is being merged and made into one tax. Government of India is making it into one GST and one Direct Tax, by subsuming multiple taxes under one head. Every government across the world is doing it.

2. Subsuming multiple taxes into one, would help the government to concentrate on one tax collection and ensure one hundred percent collection of taxes. It will also reduce manpower to collect taxes and therefore, cost of tax collection will also come down.

3. Since the corporation will have clear tax collection targets, the collection will also be high and targets can easily be achieved. Therefore, corporation can also plan its usage more accurately.

4. It is also beneficial for the tax payer since we need t…

Will Gas Push Energy Prices Down?

Gas has become lot cheaper across the world after the fracking process evolved for shale gas recovery. Though well head shale gas could turn out to be cheaper, transportation across large distances could make it costly.
However, cheap shale gas ensured that petroleum prices crash across the world and India stands to benefit out of it.
Shale gas in India struck a discord, with environmentalists vehemently opposing the idea of recovering shale gas by fracking. People in the know, understand that fracking is nothing but pressured water flowing into the gaps between the rocks, forcing the gas in between the rocks, to come out of the well.
The only environmental issue might be the amount of water used. But that water is also recoverable and the same could be taken out of a well.
Once more the Government proved that it can mishandle every new technology so that people on the opposite side of the fence can misuse the situation to their politico-economic advantage.
With increased natural ga…

Prices on IEX continue to be at Six rupees level

Market in Tamil Nadu is agog with power related pricing issues. Though individually, consumers have been talking about rate reduction in the raging non-R&C period this year, rate per kWhr on IEX is way ahead of last year's price levels.

IEX ruled at Rs.6.30 last week, on an average RTC. Yesterday it was still selling at 6.34 per kWhr and with delivery cost for an RTC supply hovered at 6.53 per kWhr, not including the cross subsidy applicable in Tamil Nadu. There may not be many takers but there does not seem to be many suppliers too! That could explain the reason for high rates on the exchange.

Yesterday, Tamil Nadu met 12004 MW of power demand with a short fall estimated at 72 MW, says SRLDC. A total of 2068 MW of power plants are under maintenance out of a total of 7465 MW in Tamil Nadu, accounting for about 30%. This includes four Ennore units, three units in Neyveli and of course, our Kudankulam under Annual Maintenance. Kudankulam with its 1000 MW, that was expected to c…

NTPC plans to acquire 5000 MW could result in increased production cost of power

NTPC announced yesterday (19 Aug 2015) that its plan to acquire badly managed and loss making Thermal Power Plants with State Electricity Boards to the tune of 5000 MW, is underway.

To this extent, they have already signed up with Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh SEBs, Damodhar Valley Corporation among others. So far, they have signed up for 840 MWs with various players. Expert opinion is that the power cost could increase since NTPC is not bogged down by political pressures as SEBs do.

Weak monsoon resulted in lower hydel generation from the states of Karnataka, Kerala and downstream states such as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Karnataka SEBs have already announced lower generation for want of rainfall.

Tamil Nadu also has announced reduced generation expected from wind and hydro because of weakened monsoon. Would this affect the power situation in the southern states? It may not, feel the experts, since it would be made up by other supplies though the per unit average cost could go up…

Why One tax?

India Tax Payer has been spearheading this movement for one tax for the entire government. In order to understand why one tax, we need to first appreciate why we have something called as tax.

Tax is the means of funding Government objectives.
A short definition. But pretty appropriate. In the beginning, tax was simple and straight. Just did not require so many forms to file a tax return! Indian taxation during pre-British period was simple. One sixth of what you make goes to the government. Things were simple and easy for the poor tax payer. And there was but one single Tax to be paid.
Governments became complicated. They wanted to support some and oppose others. So they taxed all those people they were not getting along well. It could be some products that they did not want to encourage; some products they wanted to encourage. They taxed those products that affected the livelihood of people. These were all mostly positive taxes helping equality in society. Of course, there were othe…

Last Week in Power... the Tamil Nadu scene

An active week went by ushering in a number of changes in the market place. Global economic measures hurt businesses in India to a great degree.
Yuan devaluation by over 6% last week hit the already declining Indian Steel, Textile, auto-ancillary industries further. China is one of the major buyers of Cotton, copper and chemicals from India. All of these are badly hit.
No surprise then that the exports have fallen for a straight eighth month, by far the highest at 10.3%. Trade deficit has increased to USD 12.81 billion!
All this meant, the industry and economic scenario is still gloomy and far from the look-up hoped for since the new government came to power last year.
With many industries across the state of Tamil Nadu pulling down their shutters partially or fully, the impetus to growth of infrastructure has been laid bare. Requirement for power has gone down substantially, so much so that hardly any new additions been made for supply of power. Small power stations such as OPG line…

Tax and the Government

Tax is a no-go area for the people.

You will never find the government discussing how much to tax or whether they are taxing properly with people or with tax payers. In most cases, people who pay the tax have almost, no say in the matter.

Governments across the world make sure that the tax payer is feeling absolutely powerless when it comes to deciding on the quantum of tax paid and how the tax money is being employed. The corollary is also true! They make those who get benefits from the tax money feel that they are not paying any tax and that the money they get from the Government is actually, free money!

The truth is, both are false!

Tax payer has power to control and monitor the government and its taxes. And the person who is enjoying the Government 'benevolence' is also paying taxes. In most cases, he might end up paying more than what he gets back from the government!

This is the truth.

As a tax payer, we always think, that we do not have any power to wield in decision m…

One Corporation One Tax

Every corporation needs money. And tax is the way they collect it to give services to the citizens it serves.

What is the easiest and the best way to collect money from citizens?

There had been numerous research activities conducted by top economic scientists of the world on this topic. Though, they look at costing every government service and the citizen pays per use, it has been found there are services that just cannot be costed. Most researchers recommend a combination of both; that is, for most personalised services, the citizen pays on per-use basis and for non personalised services, the public body taxes the citizen.

It is also suggested across the world and adopted by various governments that taxing done for non-personalised services are merged and collected using a single taxation system.

What makes a single tax system attractive?

For the governing body, they have but one tax to collect. Therefore, ensure that taxes are collected from every liable citizen. Limit manpower on …
Happy Streets are Disciplined Streets

The Happy Streets concept is certainly a welcome change on DB Road (South of Post Office) and part of Thiruvenkatasamy Road of Coimbatore.

Seeing the children filling in the streets from all sides with their bicycles, was very impressive. There were groups playing Football on the DB Road! Of course, it was a sales man's world and naturally you found ads and promotions rollicking the streets.

So that was our version of happy streets!

No doubt it made people happy including me, when I walked down the road. It was also in my thoughts for a long time, that DB Road should become vehicle free road. It should be paved end to end and only walkers should be allowed. May be, another road that deserves the same respect in Coimbatore would be the Cross Cut Road.

If there are numerous plusses to this program, there are also a number of minuses. A few here for making the event even better.

One, every happiness comes with discipline. A happy marriage is the …
Parliament is standstill, once more!

Last three years, the parliament has literally come to a stand still!

In the case of UPA government, they had an excuse. They claimed to be a minority and blamed the opposition for stalling the progress of the government.

Today, the NDA government is a majority one in the Lok Sabha but even there no business is being conducted. Many of the important bills including our much hyped, GST, is yet to see the light of the day.

The reason that minority governments are not able to function is just a reason and not the true cause is amply clear now. So, what is the real reason behind this logjam?

For any fight, however big or small it might be, there has to be two sides. And both the sides, having different perceptions, are not willing to bend, change, postpone or empathise with the other person's perceptions.

Only then a fight happens. If the government says, opposition is to be blamed, why is not the government yielding at least to some of their reque…
Good Things are happening all around us

There are lots of good things happening around us. Unfortunately, we do not record them or give it the fair thought that it deserves.

For instance, in Chennai, Apollo Hospitals has been conducting short informative programs on health at their OMR unit for the last six months at least. These programs are highly informative and health specific.

See the one below. Relevant and to the point. May be, you can attend if you find those two hours in a week.

Ergonomics Assessment Workshop

Ergonomics & Computer Vision Syndrome
Greeting from Apollo Hospitals!!
Apollo Hospitals, OMR Invites you to the Ergonomics Assessment Workshop on Tuesday, 11th of August 2015 at Apollo Specialty Hospitals, OMR from 3pm - 5pm.
Aches are constant companions at the workplace especially when your job role requires the body to be in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Working in an ergonomically unsuited posture for long hours, increase risk of developing work-rela…
Should we do anything about Sasi Perumal's death?

It is one more person dead and gone out of a population of 1.2 billion people. An event that is of no great interest! or is it?

It is said that 'the silence of the Good is worser than the crimes of the Bad'.

Everyone of us would accept this as true. May be, the ambiguity of thoughts stem from another important question.

Whether there should be prohibition in the state of Tamil Nadu or not and what kind of prohibition it should be?

Arguments abound from various people from various quarters against prohibition.

Argument against: A grown adult, in this case a person more than 18 years of age, can decide on what is good or bad for himself. There are lots of bad habits that people get into. Can Government impose ban on everything?
Argument 2: The most common argument, government needs money. And taxing liquor is simply the best and the easiest way to get it.
Argument 3: Even if you ban it, it will continue to exist in other form…
My very first Post on this Blog.

I have of course, been writing since my school days.  But serious writing has eluded me for quite some time.

Being proficient during my child hood days, in both English and Tamil, I look forward to writing in both the languages. I enjoy the writings.

I look forward to sharing a whole world of thoughts with you, the reader who had time to skim through my pages. Hope you find something different from what you were expecting on these pages.

See you soon on my new posts...