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 – August 20

News In Numbers: August 20

 

0.2%

The equity stake in Uber the Tata Opportunities Fund, a private equity fund, would have received for $100 million at the taxi-hailing services provider’s last valuation of around $50 billion. According to Reuters, the Tata fund invested around $75-100 million in Uber. The fund’s managing partner had also said it invests up to $100 million in its deals. With 150,000 contracted drivers and a 40% growth on a month-on-month basis, Uber says it commands a 35% market share in India. Uber is looking to accelerate its growth in India, where the leader is homegrown taxi app, Ola. Bangalore-based Ola raised $400 million in April to become the third-most valuable venture-backed company in India.

 

11

The number of entities that received an in-principle approval yesterday from the Reserve Bank of India for setting up payment banks, out of 41 applications. These entities include telecom companies (Vodafone and Airtel), conglomerates (Aditya Birla Nuvo and Reliance Industries), technology providers (Tech Mahindra) and the Department of Posts, among others. The idea of payment banks, first suggested by a committee headed by Dr Nachiket Mor, is to provide basic banking services such as deposits, payment and remittances to the unbanked and the under-banked. Interestingly, a report by Morgan Stanley India says though the bigger cities such as Bangalore rank high in terms of job opportunities, the smaller ones are better in terms of financial infrastructure (ATMs and bank branches). Nashik and Varanasi are the toppers in terms of financial penetration.

 

28%

Of the total CSR (corporate social responsibility) amount Nestle India should have spent in 2014 (the company follows a calendar year), it ended up utilising only 28%. The Companies Act 2013 stipulates that companies meeting certain benchmarks in terms of net worth, revenue and net profit must spend 2% of the profits generated in the last three years on CSR initiatives. Of the six major FMCG companies, including ITC and Hindustan Unilever, Nestle India is the only one to have missed its CSR targets. As many companies missed their targets in 2014-15, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs cut down its estimates of the corpus to be created through CSR spending by nearly half.

 

Rs 27.92 crore

The total disproportionate assets former telecom minister A Raja has been accused of amassing between 1999 and 2010. The fresh charge against him, his relatives and close associates has come about after the team investigating the 2G spectrum case submitted a report suggesting the possibility of disproportionate assets. This May, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was acquitted in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case, though BJP leader Subramanian Swamy (who filed the case against her) termed the Karnataka High Court judgment as a “tragedy of arithmetic errors” and had decided to appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court.

 

885.9

The rate of total cognizable crimes per lakh population in Indore, the highest among 53 cities with a population of over 1 million people. Surat has the lowest rate of total crimes per lakh population at 95.9. The three biggest reasons for murder in India in 2014 were: personal vendetta, property dispute and love affairs. Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of honour killings. Delhi recorded the highest number of rape cases per 1 lakh citizens at 1,813 followed by Mumbai.

 

 

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