News in Numbers, Jan 04, 2017: Unicorns’ babies…

700

What is it? The number of startups spawned by India’s 12 unicorns (with $1 billion plus valuations), according to startup and venture capital tracker Tracxn.

Why is it important? Indicates the kind of contribution such unicorns make towards the startup ecosystem – could be in terms of experience, exposure to the startup culture, financial security orsupport from the unicorn. However, just like any other startup, these also face trouble in terms of sustainability and scaling up and raising resources. For instance, less than one of every 10 startups are able to get funding from an institutional investor and less than 3% are able to get Series B stage funding, according to Abhishek Goyal, co-founder of Tracxn.

Tell me more: This is similar to the host of entrepreneurs created by Infosys and Wipro, whose ex-employees have gone on to set up 867 and 685 companies so far.

 

Rs 23,528.73 crore

What is it? The amount the government has raised via disinvestment in the first eight months of 2016-17.

Why is it important? This is 41.6% of the disinvestment target of Rs 56,500 crore set for 2016-17, better than the previous fiscal’s 36.4%. To accelerate disinvestment process, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has replaced annual plans with rolling ones, fast tracked approval process and reserved 20% of shares on public sector units’ offer for sale (OFS) transactions for retail investors.

Tell me more: The government has focussed more on share buybacks(cash-rich public sector units buying the government’s stake in companies) this year rather than raise money from the equity market through the OFS route. Of the total amount raised through this route until November, about 91% (or Rs 21,432.38 crore) has been through minority stake sale in 14 central public sector enterprises and the rest (Rs 2,096.35 crore) through strategic disinvestment.

 

12 nautical miles

What is it? The offshore distance up to which some coastal states wants to levy goods and services tax.

Why is it important? The demand by states such as Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal could delay GST rollout. Besides, some states also asked for increasing the number of items on which cess would be levied to compensate for the loss in revenues (after the rollout of GST) by up to 40% due to demonetisation. The government was initially aiming for an April 1 rollout but it may reportedly be done by June or July 1, within the mandatory deadline of September.

Tell me more: The earlier proposal was a Rs 55,000 crore GST compensation fund in the first year by levying cess on luxury items and demerit or sin goods over and above the highest tax slab of 28% but now, states expect this to go up to Rs 90,000 crore.

 

Rs 3,500 crore

What is it? The estimated annual fiscal impact of the measures announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the New Year’s eve, according to a report by the State Bank of India research team.

Why is it important? The report has termed this cost to the Indian economy as “minimal” given the “social and economic benefits” of the schemes announced. It has suggested a tweak to the scheme announced for senior citizens: to decrease the lock-in period to five years from 10 and that the maximum deposit limit should be Rs 15 lakh instead of the proposed Rs 7.5 lakh. Under the scheme, senior citizens are to receive a fixed interest rate of 8% for 10 years on deposits up to Rs 7.5 lakh where the interest can be paid monthly.

Tell me more: The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (a housing scheme) is available for those belonging to the Economically Weaker Section (households with annual income up to Rs 3 lakh) and Low Income Group (households with annual income between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 6 lakh). As a rule of thumb, a person with annual income of Rs 6 lakh is eligible for a housing loan of Rs 24 lakh and if this is the case, then the revised scheme announced recently could be a “game changer” as nearly two-thirds of housing loans of 26 public sector banks are in the category of less than Rs 25 lakh.

 

88 million

What is it? The number of cows and buffaloes that would get a 12-digit unique identification number this year.

Why is it important? The idea is to tag and track cattle in order to vaccinate them regularly and to use scientific interventions for better breeding and improve milk production. The government has earmarked Rs 148 crore for the procurement of tags, tag applicators, health cards and tablets. In 2014-15 and 2015-16, milk production has increased by around 6.2-6.3% on a year-on-year basis. India ranks number one in milk production, accounting for nearly a fifth (18.5%) of the global production.

Tell me more: About a lakh technicians with 50,000 tablets have set out this year to affix a tamper-proof polyurethane tag inside the ears of the cattle. After assigning the tag, the technician would enter the number in an online database and provide an animal health card to the cattle owner, which would contain the unique identification number, details of the owner, breeding details, status of deworming and vaccinations.

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