Eavesdropper

Updated: Aug 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Is Talaulicar In Or Out
Strange goings-on have been noticed at Bombay House. Mr J E Talaulicar, a director of Tata Finance Limited and chairman and director of Niskalp, and one of the first to be accused, investigated and found guilty by an internal Tata committee on insider trading charges in the now (in)famous TFL-Niskalp fiasco continues to be with the Tata group. He had resigned on August 17, 2001 for an impartial inquiry to "clear his image" which was tarnished by "totally inaccurate and distorted" media reports. So how come Mr Talaulicar is still around, as director of the group holding company, Tata Sons, no less

Who Loves A Drought
Enough is enough. Stop talking about the drought is what North Block is believed to have told union agriculture minister, Mr Ajit Singh. Together with Tell your officials to underplay the situation. Oddly enough, this diktat is to be implemented even if the situation deteriorates further. But while the agriculture ministry has been instructed to "handle the situation better", North Block and the PMO are getting increasingly concerned about the situation thats unfolding the centre may have to impose special taxes and surcharges to replenish the National Calamity Contingency Fund. But this the government cannot afford to do, as it might earn the displeasure of corporate houses which are ready to fund expenses of the ruling party for polls soon to be held in 12 states. New taxes may also earn the publics displeasure.

Incidentally, 10 drought affected states have already demanded Rs 1,9326.33 crore from NCCF. The NCCF is now left with a corpus of only Rs 500 crore, although it is expected to garner Rs 1,600 crore in the current year through sin tax collections.

Anyway, back to the diktat Mr Ajit Singh has faithfully followed it in letter and spirit and clammed up! Further, additional agriculture secretary, Hemendra Kumar, has been told to underplay the situation.