News in Numbers, Mar 02, 2017: Hiring to strain finances 💰😓

Rs 295-299

What is it? The price band of shares of Avenue Supermarts, owner of the profitable supermarket chain, D-Mart, that would be sold in its initial public offering starting March 8.

Why is it important? The upcoming IPO, worth Rs 1,870 crore, has evinced interest as it is one of the few organised retail chains, especially in grocery segment, which makes a profit. In 2015-16, it made a profit of Rs 321 crore on a revenue of Rs 8,605 crore.

Tell me more: While Maharashtra and Gujarat contribute over 81% of its revenue, D-Mart also has footprint in Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.



What is it? The sales growth range of passenger cars across seven manufacturers in February, 2017.

Why is it important? Passenger car sales are picking up after being hit in the last two months of calendar 2016, following the cash crunch. A measure of consumer discretionary spending, the growth was fuelled by higher shipments to dealers and new models for some manufacturers.

Tell me more: Growth for Ford India was the highest at 52%, albeit on a small base of 8,338 cars. Maruti Suzuki, selling 120,735 cars, managed to grow in double-digits over 2016. Mahindra and Mahindra was the only company to report a decline of 13% owing to demonetisation.


56.67 million

What is it? The number of Indians suffering from depression, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Why is it important? India has only 0.3 psychiatrists per 100,000 population, whereas incidence of depression is 4.5% of the population. Lack of mental health facilities, and concentration of doctors and hospitals in urban areas, mean a large number of people with mental health issues will go untreated for a long time.

Tell me more: The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015, according to the ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders — Global Health Estimates’ report.


2.8 lakh

What is it? The number of hiring by central government in next financial year starting April 2017.

Why is it important? This will bloat government expenses and potentially suck money away from developmental schemes, unless tax revenues match the increased outgo. Salaries (excluding defence personnel) and pension payment totals Rs 317,529 lakh crore, or 25% of tax collections in 2017-18.

Tell me more: Current size of central government employees is 3.53 million.


Rs 2,500 crore

What is it? The amount of black money declared so far under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). The last date under this scheme is March 31, 2017.

Why is it important? Tax authorities have identified 1.8 million taxpayers who have deposited more than Rs 5 lakh in cash during the two months’ period in November and December when old high value notes were replaced with new ones. Tepid response to the scheme could be an indicator these taxpayers are confident of explaining their sources of income, or waiting till the end of this month.

Tell me more: A flat tax rate of 50% would be levied on income declared under the PMGKY, and another 25% will be parked in an interest-free deposit for four years.

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Vehicle registrations in Delhi plummet in November after demonetisation

This piece originally appeared on


Just how much have the restrictions on cash, brought on by the 8 November demonetisation exercise, hit vehicle sales? One measure of the immediate impact is vehicle registrations in November in Delhi—a major vehicle market in India and a state that uploads all its Road Transport Office (RTO) data daily on the government dashboard,





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News in Numbers, Aug 11, 2016: Online census of MSMEs, maternity leave likely to increase…

October 2015: China’s Didi Chuxing invested in Ola.

August 1, 2016: Didi Chuxing buys Uber’s China unit.

Today: Uber indirectly owns Ola, which is trying to raise funds to compete with it in India!

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The confusion doesn’t end here. Do read on to know more about the quandary Ola is in. What do you think Ola should do? Do write to us.


What is it? The number of passenger vehicles sold in July, an increase of 16.78% from the corresponding month last year.

Why is it important? This is the fastest pace of growth since October 2015, fuelled by new launches in the utility vehicle segment, the upbeat sentiment due to monsoon rains boosting farm output and the rollout of the Seventh Pay Commission payout. Utility vehicle sales increased by 41.85% to 64,105 units compared to 45,191 units in the same month last year.

Tell me more: Passenger car sales increased by 9.62% to 177,604 units in July from 162,022 units in the same month a year ago, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).


Rs 1 crore

What is it? The cost of conducting a census of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The databank would be launched today.

Why is it important? This is the first time the census of MSMEs is being carried out online, thereby saving money as the previous offline census conducted in 2008 cost Rs 50 crore. This would help the government plan development activities and incentive programmes for MSMEs in a better way. Besides, the government would launch six online finance facilitation centres today that would provide collective financing options for MSMEs. Inadequate and delayed credit is one of the main reasons for the increase in the number of sick MSMEs from 2.2 lakh in March 2013 to 4.74 lakh by March 2015.

Tell me more: MSMEs account for around a third of the manufacturing output in India. There are 47.89 lakh such firms in India as of July 18, 2016.


26 weeks

What is it? The proposed length of maternity leave in India, per the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that the cabinet approved on Wednesday.

Why is it important? It’s 12 weeks at present. The bill also proposed 12 weeks maternity leave for women who go for adoption or surrogacy. Legislations such as these might increase increase women participation in the labour force, which is low at 22.5% at present.

Tell me more: The government is looking to pass this bill in the current session of the Parliament, which concludes tomorrow. The amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, include facilitation of working from home and mandatory provision of a creche in firms having 50 or more employees.



What is it? The number of overtime work hours in factories in a quarter, doubled from 50, as per the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Under special circumstances, this can be increased to 125 hours through a special notification. This bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Why is it important? Despite opposition from some members of Parliament (MPs) and trade unions from different parties, the government passed the bill on the grounds that it would help cover up the shortage in labour, especially technical, and that it is less than the upper limit of 144 hours recommended by the International Labour Organization. Some of the reasons for the Opposition MPs protesting against the bill include: it would affect fresh recruitments and employment generation and the need to pass this bill when the more “comprehensive” Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which supposedly benefits the workers and provides for safety measures, was pending.

Tell me more: The bill will now be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. Itwas not tabled with the detailed amendments in the Lower House on Wednesday, which were introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2014 and then, referred to the Standing Committee. According to Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, the bill with amendments to only two clauses was introduced to facilitate ease of doing business.


Rs 64 crore

What is it? Didi Chuxing’s investment in Ola last October.

Why is it important? Didi Chuxing may have violated the shareholder agreement it signed with Ola by its recent acquisition of Uber’s operations in China. Earlier, Didi Chuxing signed a non-compete agreement with Ola, which states that it must not engage with any firm that competes with Ola as long as it holds shares in the firm or for a period of two years after it sells its shares in it. With Uber indirectly owning a part of Ola, it remains to be seen what Ola and Didi Chuxing decide to do.

Tell me more: This is the first time that a startup has faced such a conundrum: not only does it have to share its financial information with Didi Chuxing but this situation may also hamper its ongoing fundraising efforts. On top of it, three of Ola’s four largest investors have invested in Uber too.

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News in Numbers, May 10, 2016: How young Indians die, leader in smartphones’ segment…


What is it? The number of cars sold in April, up 1.87% from same month last year.

Why is it important? The growth comes after a continuous three-month decline. While car sales is a proxy for economic growth, last month’s numbers could be a one-off surge due to demand for newly launched vehicles (such as Maruti Baleno) in urban areas. The rural areas showed signs of improvement mainly on account of marriage season.

Tell me more: Passenger vehicle sales (including cars, utility vehicles and vans) registered a growth of around 11% to 242,060. All the categories – commercial vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and three-wheelers – grew at double digits.


252.23 million tonnes

What is it? India’s estimated foodgrain production in 2015-16.

Why is it important? It’s higher than 252.02 million production in 2014-15. This comes amidst 11 states having declared themselves to be drought-hit. If the estimates are correct, it indicates that the agrarian economy has not been as badly hit as previously thought. Analysts have expressed surprise at these estimates and say that these could be revised downwards when the fourth advance estimates are released in a couple of months.

Tell me more: The production of some crops such as rice, coarse grains and cotton have been estimated to be lower in 2015-16 when compared to the previous year.



What is it? The number of people who died due to self-harm in the age group of 15-24 years in India in 2013, according to a study.

Why is it important? Self-harm has replaced tuberculosis as the leading cause of death among adolescents/youth in India. Indicates rising stress levels among youngsters and the inability to cope with (new) challenges and underlines the importance of better policies (and implementation) for mental health. Youngsters (10-24 age group) account for nearly a third of India’s population, according to Census 2011.

Tell me more: After self-harm, road accidents and tuberculosis are the two biggest killers of the youth – they caused 41,168 and 32,171 deaths in 2013, as per the findings of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-Being.



What is it? The number of offshore entities created in 21 jurisdictions (part of the Panama Papers) whose details have been made public by a group of investigative journalists.

Why is it important? This is likely to prompt regulatory authorities to probe individuals and firms for possible money laundering and tax evasion. The first set of information revealed by the organisation led to the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister while the British Prime Minister found himself in the line of fire after he acknowledged that he had profited from an investment fund created by his father (incorporated in Panama but managed in the Bahamas).

Tell me more: An India-related search shows the listing of 22 offshore entities, 1,046 individuals, 42 intermediaries and 828 addresses. The presence of names of individuals and companies by itself is not an indication of any wrongdoing.



What is it? Samsung’s market share in India’s ‘affordable’ smartphone segment (priced between Rs 6,000-15,000) in the first quarter of 2016, according to market research firm GfK.

Why is it important? Indicates the South Korean firm’s aggressive push in India, whose market share was 40% in the same period in 2015. With this, Samsung has established its dominance in the Indian smartphones market with a 41% share in the Rs 20,000+ smartphone segment in the three months to March 2016 (though Apple is fast gaining ground at the cost of Samsung) and a 50% share in the Rs 30,000+ segment (Apple has a 41% share).

Tell me more: Micromax still remains at the second spot though its market share fell by a couple of percentage points to 16.7% in the January-March quarter of 2016. India, with a smartphone user base of 220 million as of 2015, overtook US as the world’s second largest smartphone market, after China.

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