Locking in home-loan borrowers

3 years

What is it? The numbers of years of lock-in before home loan borrowers can transfer their outstanding amount to another lender. A demand made by mortgage loan lenders to the regulator, National Housing Board.

Why is it important? If accepted, borrowers won’t be able to transfer their loan balance to take advantage of falling interest rates. In the last six months, lending rates has dropped by 120 basis points (one basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point). Lenders say a lock-in will reduce churn in their portfolio, and better manage their borrowing and lending costs.

Tell me more: Housing loans is estimated at Rs 1,063,225 crore as on March 2015, much higher than total credit outstanding of scheduled commercial banks.



Rs 1.42 trillion

What is it? The direct taxes collected in April-June of 2017-18 financial year.

Why is it important? It is 14.8% more than the net collection last year in the same quarter and is 14.5% of the Rs 9.8 lakh-crore target for direct taxes in 2017-18.

Tell me more: The advance tax collection stood at Rs 58,783 crore in the quarter. It comprised a jump of 40.3% in personal advance tax and a corporate advance tax of 8.1%.




What is it? The Fifa rank of the Indian men’s football team.

Why is it important? The national football team ranked its second-best in the Fifa (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) listing, after 1996’s 94th spot. The team has 341 points and has won 13 of their last 15 matches, remaining unbeaten in the last eight.

Tell me more: The football team had to climb 77 spots from 173rd in March, 2015 to reach here.



1,155 cubic km

What is it? The volume of ice that is set to break away from the Antarctic ice shelf.

Why is it important? This is going to produce one of the largest icebergs in the South Pole. It is one of the alarming fallouts of global warming, ie. rising temperature. The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf is now within 5 km of breaking all the way, and is already 200 km-long.

Tell me more: The iceberg, thus adrift, could pose a hazard for sea traffic. The free-floating ice shelves also prevent ice from land to flow into the sea. But if these break apart then land-based ice could result in raised water levels of the oceans and seas.



Rs 6,000 – Rs 7,000 crore

What is it? The likely amount SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd is expected to rise from selling 12% equity stake through an initial public offering (IPO). The private insurer got the approval from the insurance regulator recently.

Why is it important? If successful, SBI Life will be the second life insurance company to list the shares in the stock markets. At Rs 7,000 crore for 12% stake, SBI Life’s market capitalization will be around Rs 58,000 crore.

Tell me more: ICICI Prudential, the number one private life insurer, sold Rs 6,057 crore of shares through an IPO, and is currently valued Rs 70,239 crore.

Read More

News in Numbers, Mar 17, 2017: 🚲 Green mobility


What is it? The number of cities to be covered by the government’s green urban mobility scheme.

Why is it important? While vehicles are not the only pollutants in urban centres, they contribute significantly to pollution. Promotion of green vehicles can potentially improve the quality of life. Several studies have confirmed Indian cities have poor and unhealthy air quality.

Tell me more: The government plans to spend Rs 70,000 crore on the scheme, and it would include initiatives including creation of separate lanes for cyclists.



What is it? The percentage of colleges in the US that reported a decline in the number of applications from international students.

Why is it important? Impact of US president Donald Trump’s immigration and protectionist policies. While the biggest decline is from students from West Asia, those from other countries, including India, are holding back, worried about how things might turn in the US. At least half a dozen bills seeking stricter work visa regulations are up for consideration by US Congress.

Tell me more: The number is from a survey of 250 colleges conducted by American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.



What is it? The increase in advance tax collection from top 100 companies for March 2017 quarter, compared to earlier quarter.

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of business outlook, and the slow growth is a reflection of the negative impact of demonetisation announced in November last year on the corporate sector. Yet another report says the advance tax collection in Mumbai zone, which contributes a third of all corporate taxes, fell by 10% compared to year ago period.

Tell me more: Of the top 100 companies, 43 contributed Rs 29,239 crore in March quarter, up 6% from Rs 27,584 crore in December quarter.



What is it? The number of world’s leading chocolate and cocoa manufacturers who pledged to tackle deforestation.

Why is it important? The companies include well known brands such as Mars, Mondelez and Nestlé. It underlines the agricultural impact on tropical forests, and the pressure companies are under to tackle some of the problems they create. In India, Pepsi and Coke have come under fire (even though they won a legal battle recently) for the usage of groundwater, even as South India faces a severe water shortage in the coming months.

Tell me more: The companies made the pledge to come up with an action plan by November in presence of Prince Charles, an active campaigner in this area, and will initially focus on Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, two largest sources of cocoa.



What is it? The targeted public expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP, according to India’s new National Health Policy

Why is it important? It is 1.4% of GDP at present. While the policy doesn’t state when it proposes to achieve the target, it’s an indicator of the direction the government wants to move. India presently doesn’t fare well on health indicators. The policy spells out a few metrics that the state wants to focus on – under-five mortality rate, infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, life expectancy, number of hospital beds.

Tell me more: A National Healthcare Standards Organisation is also on cards. It would give guidelines and protocols for healthcare sector, and resolve disputes, according to the policy.

Read More