News in Numbers, July 8, 2016: Demand notices to 6 telecom firms, sale of bad loans in 2015-16…

Rs 12,488.93 crore

What is it? The amount in demand notices likely to be issued by the Department of Telecommunications to six telecom operators for having under-reported their adjusted gross revenues of Rs 46,045.75 crore between 2006-07 and 2009-10. This was pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in March.

Why is it important? The telecom industry is already reeling under debts of Rs 4 lakh crore (as of March 31) and the notices come ahead of the expensive spectrum auction scheduled for mid-July. The demand from DoT is unlikely to be resolved soon. The telecom companies had contested this earlier saying the definition of adjusted gross revenue for calculating license fee is under litigation in various courts, which calls for clearer rules and policies.

Tell me more: The CAG had pointed out various instances of under-reporting of revenue, which the telcos had contested and said those issues have either been settled or stayed by various courts.

 

2%

What is it? The percentage of Indian banks’ bad loans that were sold to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in 2015-16, according to a report. An ARC buys bad loans from banks, explores ways of making the asset attractive and then sells it.

Why is it important? Highlights the need for more tools for bad loans recovery. The percentage of non performing assets (NPAs) sold to ARCs decreased from 5% in 2014-15 to 2% in 2015-16 even as the NPAs pile up. Banks put up bad loans worth Rs 1.3 lakh crore for sale in 2015-16, of which only Rs 20,000 crore got sold.

Tell me more: Gross NPA increased from 4.6% of total advances in 2014-15 to 7.6% in 2015-16 (highest in 12 years) and could rise to 8.5% by March 2017.

 

2,900

What is it? The number of words reportedly copied by the Indian environment ministry from the 3,850-word Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy draft adopted by the US government.

Why is it important? Besides plagiarism, the proposal that those who go ahead with projects without prior clearance under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification must remediate the damage and provide compensation, has raised concerns. At present, starting an environmental project without the government consent is a crime and can lead to imprisonment under Indian laws. Experts say this is a misuse of executive powers to dilute laws made by the legislature.

Tell me more: In the US, environmental violations are civil offences. The joint secretary who issued the draft notification on May 10 (open for comments for two months) has denied copying the content from the US policy and has said that the idea has been borrowed.

 

53.39%

What is it? Uttarakhand’s score in the provisional ease of doing business rankings among states. The score and rankings could change based on more data that the states might submit till end of this month.

Why is it important? The state, which was ranked 23 last year, has jumped to the first position as of this morning. Gujarat, which was on top of the rankings last year, has fallen to the 11th position. Shows intense competition among states with some of the most industrialised ones such as Maharashtra and Karnataka dropping out of the top 10. Such competition might help India improve its ranking in the ease of doing business globally, which is at 130, according to the 2016 report.

Tell me more: The final rankings would be released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in August after verification of the submissions made by the states.

 

509

What is it? The number of people who have been shot and killed by the police in the US in 2016 so far, according to data compiled by the Washington Post.

Why is it important? Such police action – directed disproportionately at the blacks –  has come to global attention after two black men were killed by the police in Louisiana and Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. US President Barack Obama called for changes to the criminal justice system and said such incidents reflect racial biases in the criminal justice system and that African-Americans and Latinos are more likely to be questioned by the police than the whites.

Tell me more: The Post has collated the numbers based on news reports, public records, social media and other sources. At this rate, 2016 might equal or surpass the number of people killed by the policemen in 2015- 990.

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News In Numbers – August 25

News In Numbers: August 25

 

Rs 1,033 crore

The income-tax exemption extended by the government to six national political parties between 2006-07 and 2010-11, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms, a non-profit. This has been cited by ADR, in a public interest litigation, as one of the financial reasons to bring political parties under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which would mandate them to share information about their functioning with the public. Yesterday, in the Supreme Court, the government opposed this. Other financial reasons cited by ADR include allotment of land, accommodation/bunglows at concessional rent, and free airtime on state TV and radio broadcasters.

 

$43.6

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil on the London markets, following yesterday’s sharp fall in global markets, including those in commodities. Brent Crude fell below $45 per barrel for the first time since 2009, and it has deepened what has already been a major decline in global commodity prices, following the weakness in the Chinese economy. Crude oil prices could fall even further as major oil-producing nations such as Iran look to expand production. The fall in crude prices will help keep India’s oil subsidies low: a $1 decline in prices of crude, which is India’s largest import, reduces the country’s import bill by around Rs 6,700 crore.

 

50%+

Share of mobile devices in total searches on Google originating from India. This is a marked increase from the 25% in the second half of 2013, and underscores why the mobile will lead the coming wave of Internet adoption in India. Although smartphone sales in India dipped 7% in the first quarter of 2015, they rebounded smartly in the second quarter, with sales of 26.5 million units, a growth of 44% over the corresponding period of 2014.

 

Rs 2,700 crore

The cumulative bad loans three public sector banks — Union Bank of India, Corporation Bank and Bank of Maharashtra — are planning to sell to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in the second quarter of 2015-16. Of these three, the gross non-performing asset (NPA) ratio of only Bank of Maharashtra showed a decrease in the June quarter of 2015-16, compared to the last quarter of 2014-15. Union Bank of India tops the list of public sector banks in bad loans, including restructured assets, as a percentage of total advances. In the March quarter of the last financial year, only Rs 5,500 crore of bad loans were on offer for sale to ARCs, against Rs 50,000 crore in all of 2013-14. This is due to a new rule by the central bank asking ARCs to pay more cash upfront for bad loans. Banks have been battling with the problem of rising bad loans, affecting their profitability.

 


Rs 25,200 crore
The amount the Adani Group is planning to invest in two major projects in Chhattisgarh — a coal to poly- generation project, and a rice bran solvent extraction plant and refinery. The company expects the two projects to generate employment for 10,600 people in the state. The Gujarat-based group recently signed a Rs 7,525-crore project with the Kerala government for development of the Vizhinjam port. The group has had a chequered history in terms of its environmental practices and, recently, it suffered a setback in Australia when a local court overturned the government approval for its $16-billion coal mine project there.

 

 

 

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