News in numbers, Oct 9, 2015: Bombay HC rules in favour of Vodafone, right to privacy in India…

 

Rs 8,500 crore

What is it? The amount by which Vodafone India’s tax liability has come down, thanks to a Bombay High Court ruling. This relates to sale of its call centre business to Hutchison and assignment of call options (sale of assets at an agreed price) to Vodafone International – and concerns around transfer pricing. (Transfer pricing is setting of price of goods and services sold between two divisions/legal entities under the same group.)

Why is it important? This could spell good news for other companies such as IBM Corp., Royal Dutch Plc and Nokia Oyj that are fighting transfer-pricing cases in India. It could even set a new precedent or result in clearer tax policies and regulations, something that foreign investors have been seeking for.

Tell me more: This is just one of the cases Vodafone battling with the Indian tax authorities. Last year, the Bombay High Court had ruled in favour of Vodafone’s Indian unit in a Rs 3,200-crore dispute where the tax department had accused the company of under-pricing shares in a rights issue to its parent firm. Vodafone, which bought Hutchison’s business in 2007, has also been held liable for capital tax gains on that deal. That is yet to be resolved.

 

~ 100,000

What is it? The number of people Accenture is looking to hire in September 2015 – August 2016.

Why is it important? This would help Accenture maintain its lead position over TCS, which is considered to be an aggressive recruiter. Recently, the company which has around 336,000 people, shot past TCS (319,656) in headcount. And, TCS is planning to hire about 65,000 people in the current financial year (April 2015 – March 2016).

Tell me more: The company is planning to spend about $1 billion on acquisitions in 2015-16. It is planning to focus on three ‘new’ technologies – digital, cloud and cyber security, which contribute to a third of its overall revenue.  

 

90%

What is it? The upper limit of the percentage of house price that RBI allows banks to lend for loans of up to Rs 30 lakh.  

Why is it important? The limit on loan value is up 50% from Rs 20 lakh earlier. This reflects rising house prices – and would help more people to consider buying a property. Might help revive real estate sector, which has been faced with high unsold inventory and tepid sales.

Tell me more: The central bank has also relaxed the risk weights (the capital to be set aside by banks) for individual housing loans.

 

61 years

What is it? The number of years since Supreme Court said right to privacy is not fundamental.

Why is it important? It might change now. The Supreme Court on Thursday has set up a Constitution Bench to re-look at the issue. Making it a fundamental right will warrant changes in certain government laws/policies. This question has sprung up now because of the Aadhaar card enrolment process, which involves parting with information such as fingerprints and iris signatures.

Tell me more: A petitioner against the Aadhaar scheme has raised concerns about the government owning personal data of individual citizens, which could be misused for ill-gains.

 

55.56 – 157.14%

What is it? The increase in prices of some vegetables such as pointed gourd, pumpkin, bitter gourd and brinjal in three weeks (between September 16 and October 8).

Why is it important? Overall, though wholesale and retail inflation have been falling, the increase in food prices, especially those of vegetables and pulses is worrying. In August, vegetable prices increased by 8.5% from July prices while pulses and related products saw the highest rate of increase among all the product groups.

Tell me more: The top three reasons given for the price rise are delayed monsoons and deficient or excessive rains in some areas.

 

 

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