News in numbers, Oct 12, 2015: Fiscal deficit turns surplus after 8 years, India’s brand value…

Rs 15,808 crore

What is it? India’s fiscal deficit in August 2015 indicating surplus of revenues over expenditure. This is happening for the first time in eight years.

Why is it important? This indicates one of the two things, or a combination of the two: the Indian economy is doing well and there has been a substantial increase in tax collections or the government is not able to spend the money it receives at a pace that is fast enough.

Tell me more: India’s fiscal deficit target for 2015-16 is 3.9% of GDP. As of August 2015, the fiscal deficit was 74.9% of the budget estimates.


1.94 basis points

What is it? Average fee charged by the Big Four global accounting firms (Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte) as a proportion of sales, according to a study. This is much higher than the corresponding number for the other auditors, which is 0.93 basis points of sales. (A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.)

Why is it important? Research shows Indian companies favour the Big Four and perceive them to be better though the quality of audit provided by them is no different from that of the others.

Tell me more: In the Satyam case, the fees paid to the India-based affiliates of the PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) tripled during the time the fraud was perpetrated while the auditors of the company were paid twice as much as that paid to the auditors of its peer companies.


$2.14 trillion

What is it? India’s nation brand value in 2015, says a report by London-based Brand Finance.

Why is it important? An increase of 32% over last year, this reflects the country’s image globally and could potentially benefit in terms of tourist arrivals or foreign investment. Brand Finance has used data points across three key ‘pillars’: goods and services (further divided into governance, market tourism), investment (governance, market, people & skills) and society

Tell me more: This year, India has moved up a rank to the seventh position. Though the top three slots occupied by the US, China and Germany remain unchanged, the brand value of the last two have fallen. Germany’s brand value took a hit due to the recent Volkswagen emission scandal.



What is it? Share of over five-year-old pending cases in subordinate cases in India of a total of 2 crore cases.

Why is it important? High pendency shows that justice delivered in India is as slow or slower than imagined. Also could be indicative of the high number of poor people who may not be able to afford lawyers to obtain a bail and continue to remain behind the bars. Undertrials accounted for 68% of the prison population of 4.18 lakh at the end of 2014.

Tell me more: The number of cases disposed of by the 24 High Courts in 2014 is 3% lesser than those recorded in 2012. The then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir said in 2013 that the country has only 15 judges per million population, far less than the recommendation of 50 judges per million people by the Law Commission in 2008 in its 120th report.



What is it? Share of houses in mid-size cities (with less than 1 million population) that discharge wastewater in open drains

Why is it important? Goes on to show the uphill task the Indian government has in executing its mission of cleaning up 1,000 towns where the first phase covering 500 towns is to be completed by 2019.

Tell me more: About a quarter of 416 mid-size towns have less than 20% of households that have waste water outlets connected to the drainage system. Mysuru has the maximum percentage of houses connected to the closed drainage system at 94% and is one of the eight cities where the share is above 80%. is a search engine for public data

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News in Numbers – September 4, 2015

News In Numbers: September 4, 2015


Rs 20,000 crore

The one-time impact on profitability of banks in 2016-17 if the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) draft guidelines on computation of base rate are implemented in their present form, according to ratings agency Crisil. This would be about 15% of their collective estimated profits in the next fiscal. The central bank on Tuesday invited comments on these guidelines. Currently, banks use different methods to compute their base rate and the one suggested by RBI “should be more sensitive to changes in policy rates”. However, Crisil says this would create an adverse impact as banks would be reluctant to cut deposit rates given its impact on their profitability. Banks are already battling rising bad loans, which is affecting their profitability.


$7.94 billion

Mumbai’s economic output at risk in the event of a terrorist attack between 2015 and 2025, according to Lloyd’s, the world’s oldest active insurance marketplace. In the terrorism context, Mumbai ranks number one among 301 cities, with 16.8% of its GDP (gross domestic product) at risk. The Lloyd’s City Rank Index says 10 Indian cities, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, are the top ones in terms of GDP at risk. In terms of overall threats (besides terrorism, volcano, nuclear accident, market crash, etc), the three cities with maximum economic output at risk are Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul, and none of the Indian cities figure in the top 20.



The number of state quota seats illegally filled between 2009 and 2013 in private medical and dental colleges in Madhya Pradesh, according to the state government. Known as the DMAT scam, it came to light when a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The DMAT exam is conducted by the Association for Private Medical and Dental Colleges (APDMC) to fill 58% of around 2,800 seats in 15 private dental colleges and six private medical colleges. The rest are filled under the state quota, through Vyapam. The whistleblower alleged that almost all admissions under the management and NRI quota are rigged. The CBI recently told the Supreme Court that the DMAT scam looks bigger than the Vyapam scam “in its scope and depth”.


Rs 300 crore

Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, has moved the Supreme Court challenging the sales tax demand of Rs 300 crore made by the Maharashtra government on the royalty it earns from its subsidiaries for using the ‘Tata’ brand name. In January, the Bombay High Court had ruled in favour of the Maharashtra government. The Tata Group had argued that the right to use the trademark was not exclusive and conditional, and therefore, should not come under the provisions of the ‘Transfer of Right to use any Goods for any Purpose Act, 1985’. Tata Sons earned over Rs 400 crore in royalty in 2014-15. According to Brand Finance, the Tata Group ranked 65 globally in terms of brand value in 2015 and was valued at $15.4 billion.


August 28

The air quality in Delhi has been in the ‘poor’ zone since August 28, almost a month earlier than usual. Typically, air quality drops gradually at the onset of winter and reaches its peak in January, when cold air and fog trap more pollutants. This year, due to the receding of rainfall a month earlier, PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) which is an air pollutant causing serious health problems, had started rising since August 26. In 2013, when rainfall was normal, the air quality was better in the corresponding period. The forecast for the next three days in Delhi shows ‘poor’ air quality, while Mumbai and Pune fare better with ‘good’ air quality predictions. Recently, the World Health Organization named Delhi as the worst of 1,600 cities globally in terms of PM2.5 particles. is a search engine for public data

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