News In Numbers: July 17
The Cabinet on Thursday approved a Bill that seeks to scrap 295 obsolete laws, a list that ranges from subjects such as child marriage to black marketing of cement. Two more such Bills are pending approval from the Parliament, which when cleared would repeal another 945 laws. The Law Ministry has identified another 1,871 laws that need to be repealed. Such an exercise to clean up the law books was last done in 2001. There are over 300 laws that were enacted in the British era.
‘Additions to unearned revenues’ of Amazon in 2014 at the global level, which would roughly be the sum of the merchandise value handled by India’s top two retailers. The main component of this accounting head is subscriptions to Amazon Prime—the US-based company’s membership programme, which offers members, for an initial payment of $299 a year and annual renewals of $99, free and faster shipping, access to online content and preferential shopping deals, among other things. The big event of the year for Prime members is July 15, or Prime Day. This year, while Amazon declared it a success, several shoppers expressed dissatisfaction at the deals on offer. In 2014, Amazon reported a loss of $241 million on revenues of $88 billion.
Rs 671 crore
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined four public sector insurers Rs 671 crore for rigging a tender floated by the Kerala government in 2009 to select an insurance provider for two Central government health schemes. The four insurers—National Insurance Company, New India Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Assurance Company—were found guilty of forming a cartel, quoting higher premium bids for tenders floated by the state government for three years and for having forced the state to issue fresh tenders each year even though these were for a period of three years. The umbrella body of the four general insurance companies has said it will challenge the CCI order. In 2013-14, general insurance firms collected Rs 15,663 crore as health insurance premium and made a marginal loss.
India’s central bank has asked credit card companies not to levy fines on cardholders or report such cases to credit rating companies if they pay up to three days after the deadline. The move will help cardholders save on penalties, which is usually a percentage of outstanding dues. About 21.2 million credit cards are active and Rs 18,150 crore was transacted through them in April 2015. The norm for classifying credit card dues as a non-performing asset has also been tightened. Now, it has to be done if the minimum dues are not paid for three consecutive months, as against 120 days now.
Increased smartphone ownership in India is adding to the demand for mobile app developers. It is estimated the mobile application industry will employ 159,000 people by next year, as compared to 75,000 jobs now, and have an income of around Rs 2,000 crore. Smartphones account for 10% of total mobile users in India, but they are expected to increase as a large number of users are experiencing Internet for the first time via mobile, which is also the only medium through which they are going online.
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