GM drives away

1,211

What is it? The number of items of goods and services for which taxation rates have been fixed by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council – a forum for finance ministers from the states and the centre.

Why is it important? The agreement on taxation rates is a step forward to implementing the GST, which brings most taxes under a single tax, from July 1. The central government claims the rates would not fuel inflation, as overall incidence of taxation would be lower compared to current rates. Food items like cereals will not attract GST.

Tell me more: There are five rates of taxation (zero, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%) and more than three-fifths of the goods and services will be taxed at 18% and 28%.

 

 

$1.4 billion

What is it? The amount of money raised by One97 Communications Ltd, the parent company of Paytm, from Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp.

Why is it important? The funding is the largest funding round by a single investor in India. The investment will help Paytm to build its payments bank, which will be launched later this month. Paytm plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore over the next three to five years, and acquire 500 million customers.

Tell me more: The latest investment values One97 at $7 billion, an increase of $1 billion in less than two months. In March this year, three existing investors sold 4.3% equity stake at a valuation of $6 billion.

 

 

17 million

What is it? The number of user records of Zomato, a food technology start-up, stolen by hackers and put up on sale online.

Why is it important? The breach reflects weak protection of consumer data by Zomato, which claims to have 120 million monthly user visits. Email addresses and hashed passwords (not the actual ones entered by users) were stolen by hackers. Zomato has reset passwords for all affected accounts.

Tell me more: Zomato has agreed to start a bug bounty programme, where people receive recognition and money for reporting bugs and security gaps, at Hackerone — a digital platform for bounty programmes.

 

 

20 years

What is it? General Motors will stop selling of cars in India by this year-end, after entering India almost 20 years back.

Why is it important? GM has 5,000 employees in India. In addition, there are 150 dealerships and 200 service centres. Each showroom and service service centre employs around 50 people. The resale value of Chevrolet cars is likely to decline sharply after this announcement.

Tell me more: The American company says it will continue the technical centre in Bengaluru and the Talegaon plant in Maharashtra, which will be used to export cars from India.

 

 

Rs 15.06 crore

What is it? The amount spent by the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh in organising functions to distribute Rs 20.58 crore worth of unemployment assistance, between 2012 and 2013.

Why is it important? The amount has to be deposited directly into the beneficiaries accounts as per the rules of the scheme. The disproportionate expenses in organising the functions were revealed in an audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

Tell me more: Unemployed people in the age group of 30-40 years with family income less than Rs 36,000 were eligible to receive Rs 1,000 per month under this scheme.

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News in Numbers, Jan 31, 2017: Merger on the airwaves

Rs 78,000 crore

What is it? The estimated combined revenue of a proposed merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

Why is it important? The all-share merger will create India’s largest telecom company, larger than the Rs-50,008-crore-earning Bharti Airtel. Debt on both the companies’ books and likely losses incurred from the tariff-reduction race started by Reliance Jio are being seen as triggers for the move. It looks like a much needed consolidation boost in the 22-circle Indian telecom market, as seen from the stock gains of Indian telecom operators yesterday ranging 8-10% with Idea gaining a record 26%.

Tell me more: The merged entry would still have to address, in many markets, the telecom regulator’s anti-monopoly restrictions of owning no more than 50% of spectrum in a band and 25% of available spectrum in a circle (or geographic market).

 

1 day

What is it? Number of days to go before the RBI-mandated daily ATM withdrawal limit of Rs 10,000 is removed, from February 1.

Why is it important? The first sign of reverting to pre-demonetisation days of cash management was made with RBI’s circular removing the ATM limit. Two weeks ago, RBI signalled its ease in handling cash by expanding the limit to Rs 10,000 from Rs 4,500. The Rs 24,000-weekly limit on savings-bank withdrawal, however, stays put, but restrictions on  current account, cash credit and overdraft accounts will be removed.

Tell me more: RBI mentions the savings-bank limit is under consideration for withdrawal in the “near future”. Banks can use their discretion to set their own operating limits at ATMs as was the practice before old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were withdrawn.

 

42

What is it? The number of cases the Income Tax (IT) departmentregistered nationwide under the recently-enforced Benami Transactions Act.

Why is it important? Warnings in public advertisements by the IT department against depositing unaccounted old currency in someone else’s bank account anonymously are materialising now. The BenamiAct’s section 24 has been invoked for 87 notices, for attaching bank accounts with crores of rupees of such dubious deposits and an immovable property.

Tell me more: These cases, if proven true, would attract a heavy penalty and a rigorous jail-term of a maximum of seven years.

 

4

What is it? The number of new administrators appointed by the Supreme Court to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Why is it important? The neutral committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), and the current Chairman of Banks Board Bureau, Vinod Rai, will pave the path to reform the embattled BCCI, richest sporting body in India and the most profitable cricket board in the world. The team, with a mix of financial acumen, social perspective and cricketing enthusiasm, is tasked with bringing in accounting rigour and good governance to a body mired in controversies, the latest being its earlier president and secretary sacked on January 3. It would also finalise the Indian Premier League’s 10th edition besides reporting on the Lodha panel recommendations to the court.

Tell me more: The other members are Vikram Limaye, managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank; former Indian women’s cricket captain Diana Edulji; and historian and writer Ramchandra Guha. Limaye will represent BCCI in an ICC meeting in February. The committee has no term limit.

 

650

What is it? The number of branches of the India Post Payments Bank(IPPB) to be set up by September, 2017.

Why is it important? The IPPB will locate these branches in postal district headquarters which would enable all the post office branches under those head offices to be served by the payments bank. With India Post’s envious branch network of no less than 155,000 post offices, expanding its reach should be one of IPPB’s easiest tasks.  It would let enabled post offices accept limited deposits at a maximum interest of 5.5% and offer payment services but not offer loans, unlike commercial banks.

Tell me more: The IPPB joins Airtel Payments Bank, offering 7.25% on savings, in a new financial services category, with more players to come.

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