News in numbers, Oct 12, 2015: Fiscal deficit turns surplus after 8 years, India’s brand value…

Rs 15,808 crore

What is it? India’s fiscal deficit in August 2015 indicating surplus of revenues over expenditure. This is happening for the first time in eight years.

Why is it important? This indicates one of the two things, or a combination of the two: the Indian economy is doing well and there has been a substantial increase in tax collections or the government is not able to spend the money it receives at a pace that is fast enough.

Tell me more: India’s fiscal deficit target for 2015-16 is 3.9% of GDP. As of August 2015, the fiscal deficit was 74.9% of the budget estimates.

 

1.94 basis points

What is it? Average fee charged by the Big Four global accounting firms (Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte) as a proportion of sales, according to a study. This is much higher than the corresponding number for the other auditors, which is 0.93 basis points of sales. (A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.)

Why is it important? Research shows Indian companies favour the Big Four and perceive them to be better though the quality of audit provided by them is no different from that of the others.

Tell me more: In the Satyam case, the fees paid to the India-based affiliates of the PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) tripled during the time the fraud was perpetrated while the auditors of the company were paid twice as much as that paid to the auditors of its peer companies.

 

$2.14 trillion

What is it? India’s nation brand value in 2015, says a report by London-based Brand Finance.

Why is it important? An increase of 32% over last year, this reflects the country’s image globally and could potentially benefit in terms of tourist arrivals or foreign investment. Brand Finance has used data points across three key ‘pillars’: goods and services (further divided into governance, market tourism), investment (governance, market, people & skills) and society

Tell me more: This year, India has moved up a rank to the seventh position. Though the top three slots occupied by the US, China and Germany remain unchanged, the brand value of the last two have fallen. Germany’s brand value took a hit due to the recent Volkswagen emission scandal.

 

28%

What is it? Share of over five-year-old pending cases in subordinate cases in India of a total of 2 crore cases.

Why is it important? High pendency shows that justice delivered in India is as slow or slower than imagined. Also could be indicative of the high number of poor people who may not be able to afford lawyers to obtain a bail and continue to remain behind the bars. Undertrials accounted for 68% of the prison population of 4.18 lakh at the end of 2014.

Tell me more: The number of cases disposed of by the 24 High Courts in 2014 is 3% lesser than those recorded in 2012. The then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir said in 2013 that the country has only 15 judges per million population, far less than the recommendation of 50 judges per million people by the Law Commission in 2008 in its 120th report.

 

60%

What is it? Share of houses in mid-size cities (with less than 1 million population) that discharge wastewater in open drains

Why is it important? Goes on to show the uphill task the Indian government has in executing its mission of cleaning up 1,000 towns where the first phase covering 500 towns is to be completed by 2019.

Tell me more: About a quarter of 416 mid-size towns have less than 20% of households that have waste water outlets connected to the drainage system. Mysuru has the maximum percentage of houses connected to the closed drainage system at 94% and is one of the eight cities where the share is above 80%.  

 

 

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