News in Numbers – January 27

Rs 13,000 crore

What is it:
Black money unearthed by Indian income tax (IT) officials in banks abroad.

Why is it important:  Any progress in identifying and retrieving black money is important for the government which came to power on the promise that it would bring back thousands of crores of money stashed abroad. The leaked Panama Papers, legal and financial records detailing the transactions which featured several Indian names, has increased the public pressure on the government to act fast.

Tell me more: More than Rs 8000 crore of unaccounted income linked to Indian were in HSBC, Geneva, (followed up based on information IT department got from French government back in 2011) and Rs 5000 crore in other foreign accounts (based on documents published by Washington based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)

$1.98 billion

What is it:
Education-related overseas expenditure by Indians in 2015-16


Why is it important: It’s down 20% from $2.47 billion in 2014-15, according to Reserve Bank of India data. The fall is attributed to smaller number of Indian students who went abroad, possibly because of tighter visa rules and better education option here. It could also be that 2014-15 saw an exceptional spike. The expenditure was $1.93 billion two years ago, and $1.63 billion three years ago.


Tell me more: The top destinations for Indian students are United States (103,968), United Kingdom (38,205),  Australia (20,429), New Zealand (6,650) and Canada, according to UNESCO data.


What is it?
Growth in loan portfolio of microfinance institutions during the year ending March 2016


Why is it important:  This came during a year when the client base grew only by 44%, indicating higher ticket size of loans. A reason could be the aggressive expansion of their loan books by the larger players such as Janalakshmi and Bharat Financial Inclusion (formerly SKS) on the back of the change in lending rules by Reserve Bank in 2015. The relaxed rules expanded the customer base by opening doors for customers with higher annual household income and by letting MFIs lend more.
Tell me more: Some experts say such an aggressive growth could be a cause for concern. A few years back, MFIs expanded rapidly in Andhra Pradesh, only to be clamped down by the government worried about people getting into debt trap.

$750 million

What is it:
The amount India would reportedly spend to buy 145 artillery guns from BAE systems

Why is it important: It’s yet another sign that India is stepping up on gas in the defence sector.  The deal could also help boost local industry, as 120 of these 145 M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer artillery guns  would be assembled in India

Tell me more:  In the past some high profile defence deals have kicked up controversies, which in turn led to delays in ordering new equipment.  AK Antony, who was the defence minister under UPA government has often been criticised for sitting on his hands to avoid bad press.


What is it: The number of resignations at UK Labour party’s shadow cabinet

Why is it important? An immediate fallout of Brexit. Highlights the growing opposition to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn over the EU referendum, who has been leading the party since last year. Two labour party MPs have called for a no confidence motion against Corbyn. The crisis in UK’s opposition party follows the criticism that Corbyn was not clear about his message on remaining with EU.

Tell me more: Following the referendum which resulted in favour of those who wanted UK to exit European Union, David Cameron announced his resignation.


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