Snail’s pace housing 🐌🏡

Rs 154

What is it? Bharti Airtel’s average revenue per user (arpu) in the three months ended June.

Why is it important? This is about 21% lesser than that reported in the same quarter a year ago and is an indication of the impact of Reliance Jio. The new telecom player provided free services for six months after its entry last year, which forced the incumbents to reduce their tariffs to protect/retain their market share. The impact of Jio on other players may lessen in the subsequent quarters as it has started charging its customers from April this year. Its maiden paid-for and most popular plan would translate into an arpu of Rs 96 while the most prominent of its revised plans would increase the arpu to Rs 124, according to ratings agency Icra.

Tell me more: The net profit of India’s largest telecom operator declined by 75% to Rs 367 crore from a year ago period. However, it added 5.2 million subscribers in the last three months, which is the highest ever.

 

180,877

What is it? The number of houses built under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’ so far.

Why is it important? This is less than 0.5% of the target of 5 crore homes for the poor by 2022, which indicates the slow pace of the programme (launched in February 2016) as well as raises the question of the feasibility of achieving the goal. The programme is important as at least 6.5 crore people live in slums across India and most do so in makeshift houses and shacks.

Tell me more: The initiative was also launched with the idea that it would help create jobs though unemployment rate has gone up to 5%of the labour force in 2015-16 from 4.9% in 2013-14, the year before the NDA assumed power.

 

2002

What is it? The year since the Indian monsoons (June-September) have strengthened, according to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why is it important? The strengthening in the last 15 years has resulted in the reversal of a 50-year drying spell when the monsoon brought relatively less rainfall to the northern and central parts of India. Strong warming of the entire Indian subcontinent and a significant slowdown in the temperature rise over the Indian Ocean could partially explain this trend, according to the researchers.

Tell me more: The year of 2015 saw a blip in trend – widespread drought across the subcontinent – which the study attributes to the severe El Niño (unusually warm temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific) season.

 

300-325 km

What is it? The distance covered by trucks a day after Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented.

Why is it important? This is 30% more than the 225-km-a-day covered by them pre-GST. The road transport ministry is crediting the abolishing of state-border checkposts for the increased productivity. Earlier, anywhere between 20-30% of a logistic truck’s travel time was spent on clearing checkposts, due to congestion.

Tell me more: The ministry says along with the abolishment of inter-state sales tax, it could bring down logistics costs by 10-12%.

 

Rs 500 crore

What is it? The relief package declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the flooded districts of Gujarat.

Why is it important? Gujarat has seen some of this year’s worst flooding, since June due to heavy monsoon rains, aggravated by water inflow from Rajasthan and relentless rains over the weekend. More than 36,000 people have been displaced from their homes and the transport sector suffered over Rs 6 crore losses a day due to flooding. The relief package will help rebuild and rehabilitate the lives of those displaced.

Tell me more: In 2015-16, 1,543 people died in natural disasters. Gujarat’s toll has crossed 70 since the start of monsoon this season.

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Just how big is data for Indian telcos today?

Data has been the battleground in Indian telecom for some years now. The big-bang entry of Reliance Jio — which will charge only for data and offer voice calls for free — promises to take the tussle over data to a new level. But just how big is data for Indian telecom companies right now?

According to figures released by the telecom regulator, in the quarter ended March 2016, telecom companies whose services are based on the GSM technology (95% of Indian subscribers) earned average revenue per user (ARPU) of Rs 131. At 48.2%, voice calls made the largest contribution. Data usage was second, at 21.6%.

Seen through this prism, the Reliance Jio strategy aims to open two fronts to the competition simultaneously. On the one hand, by offering voice calls for free, it aims to attack the revenue component that fetches other telecom companies nearly half their revenues. On the other hand, by offering data cheap, it aims to increase the share of data in the overall telecom revenue pie while trying to wean away users from rival networks.

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