News in numbers, Oct 16, 2015: Exports in September, registered births and deaths…

 

24%

What is it? The percent by which exports shrank in September 2015.   

Why is it important? It’s the sharpest fall since September 2009. India’s three major export commodities – petroleum products, engineering goods and gems & jewellery – have all shown sharp decline. Fall in crude prices can be attributed to drop in petroleum products export, but for others, it reflects poor global demand and increased competition from others. Imports too fell by 25%.     

Tell me more: Despite poor export numbers, the trade deficit shrunk by nearly $ 4 billion dollars in September 2015.  

36

What is it? The number of conditions Adani group has to fulfill while implementing the $12 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project in Australia.

Why is it important? The move comes two months after the previous approval was set aside citing it hadn’t considered impact on two vulnerable animal species – the yakka skink and the ornamental snake. Among the conditions are the protection of 31,000 ha of habitat and return 730 megalitres of water every year for five years.

Tell me more: The impact of these conditions on total project cost will be watched closely and also where will Adani Group get the funding as ten international banks have withdrawn from the project.

Rs 557 crore

What is it? The amount laundered through eight banks using fake import invoices, and a part of Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation into Bank of Baroda case. ED’s net has widened to include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Why is it important? Every import and export transactions are tracked by banks to ensure the genuineness, with returns filed with India’s central bank on periodical basis. This is cross checked with data from customs authorities The scam involving remittance of large amounts of money to overseas bank accounts with fake invoices with no real imports exposed the poor internal control process of these banks.  

Tell me more: Last week, ED said it had unearthed a similar scam involving a single branch of a state-run Bank of Baroda involving Rs 6,173 crore.

 

Rs 150 crore

What is it? The annual savings to railways from buying 50 MW of power through an open bidding process.

Why is it important? This is the first time Indian Railways has tried open bidding method. The price obtained – Rs 3.69 per unit – is much lower than its average cost of Rs 6.7 per unit when purchased from state power utilities. Indian Railways consumes around 4,000 MW of power annually, incurring a cost of Rs 12,000 crore. Savings could benefit the loss making state utility to invest in safety and capacity expansion.  

Tell me more: Another tender for purchase of 585 MW of power will be released soon.    

 

85.5%

What is it? The percentage of births that were registered in 2013. It has improved marginally from 84.5% in 2012. The number of registered deaths is 70.9% as compared to 69.3% in 2012.

Why is it important? Reflects poor data quality that policy makers have to work with. Under domestic laws, it is compulsory to register all deaths and births so as to capture vital statistics like infant deaths, life expectancy, and how many received medical attention at the time of birth or death. The absence of complete registration hampers policy decisions as most often the poor states, where government intervention is required more, is where registration is also poor.

Tell me more: Gross natural addition to population – the difference between total births and total deaths – was 1.63 crore in 2013 as compared to 1.61 crore in 2012.

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