News in Numbers – September 1, 2015

News In Numbers: September 1, 2015

 

7%

The rate at which Indian economy grew in the first quarter of 2015-16, slower than the 7.5% in the previous quarter. Agriculture and manufacturing grew at a slower pace, while construction and trade, hotel, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting grew faster. Ratings agency Moody’s recently downgraded India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth to 7%, from 7.5%, for 2015-16, Japanese brokerage Nomura has pegged the GDP growth rate at 8%. The Indian government has set a target of 8.1-8.5% for 2015-16, while the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has estimated it at 7.6%.

2

Number of banks the RBI has classified under the ‘Domestic Systemically Important Banks’ category, which means these are too big to fail: State Bank of India, India’s largest state-owned bank, and ICICI Bank, the largest in the private sector. This is the first time the central bank has made such a classification, which will be an annual exercise. SBI and ICICI will have to maintain additional capital as a certain percentage of loans, though both banks say their capital base is higher than mandated. The RBI framework for such a classification will have five buckets. The higher the number, the more systemically important a bank. SBI falls in bucket three, ICICI in bucket one.

$5.6 billion

A theoretical maximum penalty India’s competition regulator can levy on Internet giant Google, based on a calculation of 10% of its average global revenues for the past three years. The Competition Commission of India has accused Google of misusing its dominant position and unfairly promoting its other services through its search engine. In response to queries raised by CCI, 30 companies, including Makemytrip, Flipkart, Nokia’s maps division and Bharat Matrimony, have submitted their views. Google has time until 10 September to respond to CCI’s findings. Google’s search engine had a market share of 97.3% in India in July.

78

The number of days since ex-servicemen have been agitating at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding the implementation of one rank, one pension (OROP) in addition to annual revision of pension. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has ruled out annual revision, saying it does not happen anywhere in the world. He, however, said the government would “safeguard the interests” of soldiers who retire early by paying them higher pensions. Three more Army veterans have joined the fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar, taking the total number of those on hunger strike to 12. About 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows would be the immediate beneficiaries of this scheme, if implemented.

831

The number of dengue cases reported in Delhi this year, of which 93.6% were in August alone. The overall number is the highest in five years: thrice what was recorded during 1 January to 29 August between 2011 and 2014. In the same period in 2010, the number of cases was over 1,000. This year, India recorded 9,874 dengue cases until 29 July, of which Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu accounted for 62.7%. The number of dengue deaths in India stood at 25 in the same period, with Kerala accounting for 60% of the deaths.

 

 

 

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Union Budget: The difference between Jaitley-I and Jaitley-II in words

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

At 115 times, the word ‘tax’ appeared the most in finance minister’s Arun Jaitley second budget speech — about twice its count in his first speech in 2014. And the other top five words of 2015 — excise, service, duty and act — were not even in the top five in 2014.

Overall, Jaitley’s speech this time round seemed much more narrowly focused, especially on taxes. His 2014 speech, in contrast, touched a lot more bases, ranging widely on issues such as development, growth and infrastructure. Look for other top 100 words appearing in the two speeches, and how their usage changed between 2014 and 2015.

 

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Budget 2015: The expenditure report card for 2014-15

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

As is the norm in budget speeches, finance minister Arun Jaitley read out with some satisfaction generous and near-universal increases in allocation to ministries, departments and programmes.

Behind such generosity also lies the hard fact that in 2014-15, 70 of the 78 central ministries or departments will spend less than their allocation, half of them by more than 15%. And that under-spending was visible more in items that yield dividends in the future than those consumed in the present.

 

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