How Have NDA, UPA Governments Fared On Budget Projections?

    This story was first published on Livemint.

    When the finance minister Arun Jaitley presents the budget on 1 February, he will present three sets of numbers. The first is the budget estimates, which are projections for the coming year (FY2018-19).

    The second is the revised estimates for the ongoing year that still has two months to run (FY2017-18), and indicate how close or how far the government was in meeting the projections it made in February last year. The third is the actual numbers for FY2016-17, which shows what the government delivered for the period that ended 10 months ago.

    The tables below show how governments in the last 18 years fared on what they budgeted for and what they delivered in three key areas. Green is good and red is bad. Roughly, half the time governments miss key projections, at times by a long way, as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) did in its ­first term and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) did in its second term.hil-kNCD--621x414@LiveMint

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      What Are Governments Spending Their Budget Money On?

        This story was first published on Livemint.

        In 2015-16, on an average, 21% of the budgets of the centre and states was set aside for interest payments and pensions—‘bad spending’ that doesn’t yield any return. Chhattisgarh allocated a greater percentage of its budget to agriculture than any other state: two-and-a-half times that of Madhya Pradesh, from which it was carved out in 2000. Goa and Jammu & Kashmir spent close to one-fifth of their budgets on power.

        The matrix below shows where the Union government and 31 state governments spent in 2015-16. It shows how a state’s spending on 15 key items broken across three categories compares with peers, with the gradation going from green (relatively better) to red (relatively worse).


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          How NDA Compares With UPA On Government Workforce

            This story was first published on Livemint.

            For a government whose stated calling card is “minimum government, maximum governance”, for a government battling to create jobs, its own house paints another picture: in four years under this Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the number of central government employees is projected to increase 7.2%.

            Staff strength

            In the past, even the government—more specifically, the Fifth Pay Commission—has said the central government is overstaffed. So, what has happened to the government in the past 14 years? The number of central government employees under United Progressive Alliance-I (UPA-I) rule fell 2.7% and those under UPA-II rose 3.4%. In the four years under BJP, the number of central government employees is projected to increase 7.2% by 2017-18. And across ministries, an increase is projected for 50 out of 55 ministries.


            Top 20 ministries

            Just 20 of the 55 ministries account for 98% of the 2017-18 projected central government staff. Even among them, just four ministries account for 91% of staff: railways, home affairs (includes Delhi Police), communications (includes India Post) and finance. Under the previous two UPA governments, several of the top 20 ministries registered cuts. But under the present government, 19 have seen an increase in staff strength, the exception being health and family welfare.


            Where is the increase of government employees happening?

            239,453: That’s the total addition to central government employees projected between 2013-14 and 2017-18. While about 70% of this addition is earmarked for three ministries—finance, home and defence—sizeable numbers are also being added in other ministries. In finance, the big increase is in direct taxes and indirect taxes departments, both of which are expected to double their counts.


            How are salaries increasing?

            In 2017-18, the central government is projected to pay one-tenth of its budget in salaries to employees. In the last 14 years, a period that has seen the recommendations of two Pay Commissions being implemented, the total salary outgo has increased at a compounded annual rate of 14%. As a result, the median salary of ministries has increased more than four-fold.


            2017-18 figures are projections for the year made by the government in February 2017; figures exclude defence forces personnel.

            Howindialives.com is a database and search engine for public data.

            Source: indiabudget.nic.in


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              FIFA World Cup: Which Teams Would Make It To The Knockout Stage?

                The FIFA World Cup 2018 draws took place at Kremlin, Russia on December 1, 2017. There are 32 teams in the World Cup broken down into 8 groups of 4 teams each. The UEFA, European football’s governing council has 14 teams qualified. CONMEBOL (South America), CAF (Africa), and AFC (Asia) have five participating teams each while CONCACAF (Central and North America) has 3 teams qualified.

                All teams are split into four different pots based on their FIFA world rankings, with Pot 1 being the strongest while Pot 4 being weakest. The host nation, i.e. Russia this year, is automatically placed in Pot 1.

                FIFA has slightly altered the draw system this time round, which will prevent any “Group of Death” kind scenario in the group stages. Earlier, the pots were determined on a geographic criteria, however now, they are seeded solely based on their rankings.

                Below are the seeds for all 32 teams:


                The groups are then decided on the basis of a draw from each of these pots. Russia, being the host country was seeded into Pot 1, and hence was impossible to be grouped along with a powerhouse like Brazil or Germany. Based on ELO ratings – a measure of team’s quality that takes into account factors such as margin of victory, game importance, game location amongst several others, Russia’s group – Russia, Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia has an average rating of 1720, which is 98 points worse than the average of all World Cup teams. Additionally, this is the largest difference in group strength and WC average ever seen for any group in the World Cup since the previous decade.

                Russia’s luck shone each time another group member was added from the pots. After Uruguay, Egypt, second weakest team of Pot 3, and Saudi Arabia, the weakest team of the WC based on both ELO and FIFA rankings were pooled into Group A, making it by far the most easiest of the Groups in FIFA WC ’18.

                Using a combination of ESPN’s SPI (Soccer Power Index) and ELO ratings, we predicted the chances of each team advancing into the knockout stage. In SPI, each team is assigned an offensive and a defensive SPI rating, which is expressed in terms of number of goals it is expected to score and the number of goals it is expected to concede. Thus, a higher offensive SPI rating is good, while a higher defensive SPI rating is bad. After weighing the SPI and ELO ratings, we then ran Monte-Carlo simulations to play out each group fixture 10,000 times for each individual match forecast. For the group predictions, the Monte Carlo simulations remained static.

                Following are the chances of each of the teams advancing into the knockout stages:

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