News in numbers, Dec 14, 2015: CSR platform on BSE, CCI’s recovery of penalties imposed…

 

Rs 2,000 crore

 

What is it? Amount sought by projects listed on ‘Sammaan’, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). This helps companies find implementing agencies for carrying out social welfare activities.

 

Why is it important? It’s an early indicator that the marketplace for social welfare activities might work. Sammaan provides an alternate way to raise funds for the estimated 20 lakh implementing agencies in India, which face a number of challenges while looking for money to help their causes. Corporates, on the other hand, would also benefit as they would be able to view a pool of verified implementing agencies along with their objectives, estimated budgets and progress and pick the ones they want to fund. It will also help certain classes of profitable companies, which have to spend 2% of their three-year annual average net profits for CSR projects.

 

Tell me more: In three days, 600 projects across 325 cities/towns have been listed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 200 corporates have registered.

38 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd)

 

What is it? Quantity of natural gas India would receive from the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline for a 30-year period, which would be operational by 2019.

 

Why is it important? Will help India’s future energy requirements, which by one count will be the third largest energy consumer in the world by 2020.  This deal between the four countries heralds a new phase in regional cooperation and is seen as a move by India to connect with Central Asia to counter Chinese influence in the region.

 

Tell me more: The $7.2 billion deal would see Pakistan getting 38 mmscmd of natural gas while Afghanistan would get the remaining 14 mmscmd. Natural gas is the third major source of energy in India, accounting for about 10.2% of total production in 2013-14.

 

200 kg

 

What is it? Amount of gold Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in Maharashtra wants to deposit under the Indian government’s gold monetisation scheme. This is over half of the gold reserves (380 kg) it owns.

 

Why is it important? If this happens, this would be the largest contribution under this scheme so far, beating Shri Siddhivinayak’s likely deposit of 40 kg of gold. However, it remains to be seen how the temple would go about this, given the Bombay High Court’s 2012 order, which had stayed the trust’s decision to auction gold, silver and diamond articles given by the devotees. The petitioners, two Shirdi residents, had argued that these were offerings by devotees and not for the purpose of raising money.

 

Tell me more: At Rs 2,661 per gm, 200 kg of gold would be worth about Rs 53.2 crore, not accounting for the impurities.  

 

Rs 82.1 crore

 

What is it? The amount the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has recovered from fines imposed on companies for violating rules since its inception in 2009.

 

Why is it important? This is just 0.6% of the combined penalty levied on companies (Rs 13,900 crore). And, approximately 97% of the penalties imposed have been stayed or overturned by courts or appellate authorities. Shows the competition regulator’s dismal record in recovering fine amounts, and brings to question its effectiveness.

 

Tell me more: Last week, the Competition Appellate Tribunal set aside an order of the CCI, which had asked 11 cement companies to pay a fine of Rs 6,316.6 crore for alleged cartelisation.

 

17

 

What is it? The number of women who have won seats in municipal elections in Saudi Arabia.

 

Why is it important? Women rights in Saudi Arabia is keenly watched by India and rest of the world. This is the first time women have contested and also, voted in elections in the country’s history. It is a step towards social equality and political openness in a country that is deeply conservative. (Now, Vatican City is the only country in the world where only men are allowed to vote.) Hopefully, this step would be followed by lifting of other restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia, which include- driving, venturing outside only with a male guardian and limited interaction with men they are not related to.
Tell me more: These municipal councils do not have legislative powers but advise authorities and help manage local budgets. Saudi Arabia ranked 130 among 142 countries in World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index Report 2014.

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News in numbers, Nov 18, 2015: Tiger Global raises stake in Amazon, people living with HIV…

0.72%

What is it? The percentage of fines imposed by India’s competition regulator of India that it managed to collect, as per its annual report of 2013-14. In absolute terms, the Competition Commission of India imposed fines of Rs 9,886 crore, of which it recovered Rs 72 crore. The remainder is either stuck in appeals or has been stayed.

Why is it important? The regulator, in its six years of existence, has initiated action against prominent names in several sectors. In its latest action on Tuesday, the CCI fined three airlines — Jet, IndiGo and SpiceJet — for colluding to fix fuel surcharge in cargo transport. But seeing the cases through and collecting the amount fined has proven to be elusive.

Tell me more: Some of the other major CCI fines have been against real estate company DLF (Rs 630 crore), against 14 car manufacturers (Rs 2,545 crore) and 11 cement majors (Rs 6,200 crore).

 

 

 

36.9 million

What is it? The number of people worldwide who were living with HIV, of which, 2.6 million were children below the age of 15 years. India had 2.1 million cases in 2013.

Why is it important? On Tuesday, American actor Charlie Sheen, best known for his roles in Wall Street and Two and a Half Men, said in a television interview to NBC that he had been diagnosed HIV-positive four years ago. He also said he had been sexually active after the diagnosis, while maintaining he had disclosed his condition to his partners.

Tell me more: At least 33 states in the US have laws that mandate people infected with HIV to disclose that fact to their sexual partners.

 

0.5%

What is it? The approximate stake bought by US investment fund Tiger Global in global online retailer Amazon in the September quarter.

Why is it important? Tiger Global, one of the most aggressive investors in Internet businesses in India, is the largest investor in Indian retailer Flipkart. In India, Amazon and Flipkart are rivals, and the common presence of Tiger Global will be a source of conversation, possibly consternation. Back in 2014, Myntra was merged into Flipkart at the behest of common investors, one of them being Tiger Global.

Tell me more: As many as 1,284 institutions and mutual funds hold 68% of the shares of Jeff Bezos-controlled Amazon.

 

65%

What is it? Share of mobile phone in the Internet traffic of India, which is thrice the corresponding figure for the US, according to a May 2015 report by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

Why is it important? It is a measure of where the growth in Internet adoption and usage is coming from in India, and reaffirms why a high Internet penetration number in this decade might be in the realm of the possible. Another report by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International, released on Tuesday, tipped India to hit 402 million Internet users by December and leapfrog the US as the country with the second-largest Internet user base, after China.

Tell me more: According to the second report, men account for 71% of Internet users in India and women 29%, and that 69% of users were using  

 

11

What is it? The number of sugar stocks that hit the upper price band in trading on Tuesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange, suggesting some sort of a turnaround for a sector reeling under a cash crisis and dues to farmers.

Why is it important? The wide expectation is that sugar production in 2015-16 will be lower than in 2014-15, which will hold prices of this essential commodity, even fuel them. Credit ratings agency ICRA has projected a 4.6% drop in production to 26.8 million tonnes in 2014-15.

Tell me more: In October, the Central government announced a string of measures to help companies and release arrears to farmers.

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