News in Numbers, Dec 17, 2015: Ban on diesel vehicles’ registration, US Fed rate hike

 

15%

 

What is it? Delhi’s share in Mercedes-Benz’s sales.

 

Why is it important? Supreme Court has banned registration of new diesel engines above 2000cc in Delhi, a big market for the luxury car maker, until March 31. The initiative is to curb alarming levels of pollution in Delhi. The ban might favour its rivals, since most of the diesel models of BMW, Audi and Volvo have engines below 2,000 cc. Mercedes-Benz has said that this order “will severely impact” their expansion plans and future investments already in place for the Indian market.

 

Tell me more: Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicle maker, has said that this order would affect 2% of its monthly sales.

 

400

 

What is it? Number of start-ups Karnataka government hopes to help build with the help of its newly launched warehouse, launched in partnership with industry body Nasscom.

 

Why is it important? This is the second such warehouse by the state government and is on a bigger scale than the first, which incubated 64 start-ups. In the first warehouse, a quarter of the 64 start-ups have raised combined funds of Rs 600 crore. Bangalore ranks 15th in terms of best start-up ecosystems globally, according to a report by Silicon Valley-based start-up benchmarking firm and such measures are likely to advance its standing as a hub for start-ups in India as well as worldwide.

 

Tell me more: The state government recently launched a start-up policy with the view to aid the growth of 20,000 tech start-ups and generating 6 lakh direct and 12 lakh indirect jobs.

 

0.25-0.5%

 

What is it? United States benchmark interest rate, set by US Federal Reserve.

 

Why is it important? That’s 0.25% hike. It affects financial markets globally and therefore, is closely watched. As for India, this hike could mean investors may pull out their money from emerging markets like India to invest in the US in anticipation of higher returns and it remains to be seen how they react to the hike. Foreign institutional investors have pulled out $2.5 billion from Indian markets since November in anticipation of the hike. This, in turn, could weaken the rupee, making imports costlier and negatively impacting inflation in India.

 

Tell me more: This is the first time in nearly a decade that the US has gone for a hike in interest rates after keeping it around zero since the 2008 financial crisis. For the US, this is a sign of economic recovery.

 

0.59 hectares

 

What is it? The average landholding per rural household as of 2013, according to data from the National Sample Survey Office.

 

Why is it important? This has almost halved from 1.01 in 1992. A farm household needs to have at least 1 hectare of land to earn enough to fulfill its consumption expenditure. A farm household with 0.01-0.4 hectares of land earns an income of Rs 4,152 per month but its monthly consumption expenditure amounts to Rs 5,401. Also, farm households with less than 1 hectare account for over two-thirds of agricultural households that are indebted, with the debt levels decreasing with increase in landholding.

 

Tell me more: Every four out of five rural household have landholdings of less than one hectare and over 7% own more than two hectares.

 

€26 million

 

What is it? Amount Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has earned by launching six satellites for Singapore on Wednesday.

 

Why is it important? Underlines the commercial potential of India’s space programme. So far, India has earned around $36.7 million (at today’s exchange rate) from the launch of foreign satellites while around $74 million have been committed for those in the pipeline. It’s also yet another confirmation of the robustness of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29), which recorded its 32nd flight.

 

Tell me more: With Wednesday’s launch, ISRO has launched 57 satellites for 20 countries.

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