News In Numbers: September 17, 2015
The number of entities that have received ‘in principle’ approval for setting up small finance banks from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The central bank had received 72 applications. Last month, the RBI gave in principle approval to 11 entities to set up payment banks and PayTM has recently announced that it would be the first one to set up a payments bank in India by the end of the current financial year. A small bank, as the name suggests, would provide basic banking services such as deposits and loans but “in a limited area of operation” whereas payment banks cannot offer loans but would provide small savings accounts, remittances and payments services. Small banks would help in financial inclusion would help in the cause of furthering financial inclusion by “provision of savings vehicles”, giving credit to small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and other unorganised sector entities through high-technology, low-cost operations. The minimum paid-up equity capital for small finance banks was set as Rs 100 crore.
After 100 smart cities, the Indian government is now planning to develop 300 ‘smart village clusters’ at a cost of Rs 5,142 crore in the next three years. These would be developed as economic hubs that would offer employment opportunities, skill development training linked to economic activities, agro-processing, digital literacy, better schools, provision of piped water and sanitation, among other things. Besides this, the cabinet also approved the increase the number of days of employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to 150 days from 100 in the areas that have been hit by drought or natural calamities. These two decisions are aimed at alleviating rural distress building up due to below-average monsoon in many parts of the country.The number of farmers committing suicide due to agricultural stress in certain states including Karnataka and Maharashtra are on the rise. A Crisil report says four states (Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh) and five crops (jowar, soyabean, tur, maize and cotton) “are most hurt by deficient rains”. These states contribute to over a third of India’s total foodgrain production in India.
Rs 6 lakh
Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) decided to increase life cover for its 40 million subscribers to Rs 6 lakh, as compared to Rs 3.6 lakh at present. Life insurance payments were given to 30,000 subscribers’ families in 2014-15, at an estimated outgo of Rs 180 crore. Employers, who don’t provide health cover to their employees, contribute 0.5% towards the corpus, Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI). EPFO manages Rs 8.5 trillion corpus. At 40 million subscribers, they represent mostly the organised employment whereas bulk of India’s workforce are unorganized and don’t get to benefit from this move.
The number of people who have applied for 368 positions of peons at the state assembly in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Of these, over 2 lakh applicants hold at least a graduate degree. There are 255 of them with doctorate degrees too. The requirements for this position is school education and bicycle-riding skills. A peon’s position would get pay a salary of at least Rs 16,000 per month plus other government benefits. The unemployment rate in India was estimated to be 4.9% in 2013-14 and that in the age group of 18-29 years was 12.9%. The unemployment rate of people in this age group who are at least graduates was 28%. The 66th round of National Sample Survey Organisation report has estimated that Uttar Pradesh would have 1 crore unemployed youth aged 15-35 years by 2017.
The percentage of drop in central government funding allocation to Delhi for controlling vector-borne diseases between 2012 and 2015. It stands at just Rs 17 crore now. The Delhi government, in turn, has allocated a smaller proportion of funds to the municipal corporations. Of the total expenditure by the directorate of health services, the share of funds for controlling malaria and dengue has come down to less than 5% from 10%. The Delhi Health Society, set up to receive funds from the central government, had asked for Rs 2.5 crore to fight dengue and malaria in 2015-16 but received only 50% of that amount. The state government has unspent balance of Rs 19 crore from the previous year. Until September 12, over 1,800 cases of dengue have been reported in Delhi and as on September 16, the death toll rose to 13. Delhi is witnessing its worst dengue outbreak since 2010.
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