News In Numbers – August 4

 

News In Numbers: August 4

 

7%

The median forecast of the repo rate—the rate at which the central bank lends money to banks—for 2015-16 by 27 professional forecasters surveyed by it in June 2015. The repo rate currently stands at 7.25%, and the Reserve Bank of India, as part of its monetary policy review today, is unlikely to cut this key indicator of interest rates. In calendar 2015, the RBI has cut the repo rate thrice, each time by 0.25 percentage points. Even if it pauses, lower interest rates remain the expectation for the next 18 months: in the same RBI survey, the 27 forecasters predicted a median repo rate of 6.75% in 2016-17.

 

40%

Of the total funds committed by members of Parliament (MPs) in the last 14 years towards rehabilitation after major natural disasters, less than 40% has been utilised. Under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme scheme, MPs can recommend up to Rs 1 crore for disaster rehabilitation. They had committed a total of Rs 250 crore since the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, of which, only Rs 99 crore has been used. As many as 21,975 people have died in India between 2001-02 and 2010-11 in major natural disasters.

 

$50

Prices of crude oil, as represented by Brent futures, fell below the $50 a barrel mark on Monday, the first time since January. On the one hand, there is lower demand from China, which has been powering growth in the world economy. On the other, the expectation is that oil-rich Iran, following the removing of western sanctions, will increase supply in the market. Lower crude prices are good for India, which imported $116 billion worth of this commodity in 2014-15, or 25% of its overall imports. In 2015-16, for April and May, India’s import bill under this head was $13 billion.

 

61.8%

The average capacity utilisation of thermal power plants in 2015-16 (till June), continuing a consistent decline. In 2009-10, this was as high as 77.5%. The largest decline in plant usage has been in plants run by private players, followed by those run by state governments and Central governments, respectively. In its first-quarter results yesterday, central government company National Thermal Power Corporation announced a 7% drop in power generation and 6% drop in revenues due to lower demand from cash-strapped state distributors of electricity.

 

36%

Of the 353 million Internet users in India as of June 2015, 127 million are local language Internet users, according to a survey by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International. The total digital advertising spend in India is estimated to be Rs 3,575 crore by December 2015, of which digital ad spends in local languages are projected to have a share of 5%. In India, 122 languages are spoken. Of this, Hindi has the maximum share (41% of total population), followed by Bengali (8.1%) and Telugu (7.9%).

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 3

News In Numbers: August 3

 

65%

The capacity utilisation of all Indian automakers in 2014-15: against their combined annual capacity of 4.96 million vehicles, the companies sold 3.22 million passenger vehicles. Leading consultants expect this gap between capacity and sales to widen as despite slowing demand, automakers have continued with their expansion. In the next two to three years, they have projected capacity to increase to 7 million units and sales of 4.4-5.3 million units by 2020. However, the government, which has been making attempts to increase manufacturing in the country through its ‘Make in India’ campaign, has projected India’s car market to grow to over 6 million units annually by 2020.

 

17.1%

Expected share of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in 2018-19 in the total credit extended in India, against 13.1% in 2014-15. Much of this growth is expected to come at the cost of state-run banks, whose share is estimated to fall below 60%, an all-time low, in the next three to four years. Today, three NBFCs each have a net worth of above $1 billion (Rs 6,400 crore), about the same as the net worth of small- and mid-sized state-run banks, which are also losing share to private banks. The difference in loan growth between private and public sector banks was at a four-year high in the October-December quarter of 2014, mainly because state-run banks are capital starved, have a higher proportion of bad loans and much of their loans are in sectors where demand is low.

 

14

As many as 14 malls, with a combined space of 3.5-4.5 million sq ft, are likely to withdraw from retail operations, indicating a restructuring and consolidation in the mall market in India, according to a report by real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). Many malls in India are plagued by low footfalls, an outcome of bad location choices, and poor planning and management. In retail malls across major Indian cities, the overall vacancy rate is at 20%, against below 10% in malls that are running successfully. An earlier report by JLL stated that only one out of every four retail malls was doing well.

 

857

The number of pornography websites the Indian government is seeking to block through the notices it has sent to Internet service providers. According to various media reports, some of the popular ones have already been blocked. Last November, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had asked the Internet and Mobile Association of India to make a list of websites that show pornographic content, especially those featuring child pornography, and had directed the IT and telecom departments to work together to improve blocking infrastructure. In August 2014, the Supreme Court had asked the government to find a solution to block such sites. Last month, it declined to pass an interim order to block porn sites in India as it cannot stop adults from watching such content in the privacy of their rooms.

 

998

The number of people killed by animal attacks (other than snake/animal bites, whose count was 8,746) in India in 2013. In order to reduce deaths due to animal attacks, scientists at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India plan to use drone technology to check the increasing man-animal conflict in and around forest areas. Drones can be used to detect the presence of wild animals near human habitats and alert forest officials, who could drive them back to the forest.

 

 

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