News in numbers, Apr 6, 2016: RBI cuts repo rate, global executions highest in 25 years…

6.5%

What is it? The repo rate, the benchmark rate at which the central bank lends money to the banks for a short term. It was 6.75% earlier.

Why is it important? It is likely to result in banks lowering their lending rates. The repo rate is at a more than five-year low. This is expected to encourage companies to invest to boost economic growth.

Tell me more: The RBI cut repo rate by 125 basis points last year but banks lowered lending rates by only 60 basis points. To help improve liquidity and for better transmission of interest rate cuts, the central bank has also reduced the cash proportion of banks’ requirement of reserves to be kept with the RBI. It has also increased the reverse repo rate (the rate at which the central bank borrows from lenders) by 25 basis points to 6%.

11

What is it? The number of state cricket associations that have not received any money from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the last five years, as pointed out by Supreme Court.

Why is it important? This could potentially force BCCI to come up with a transparent method to disburse funds to state associations.

Tell me more: The BCCI disburses funds to the state cricketing associations to develop and promote the game. The Supreme Court was hearing an affidavit filed by the BCCI, which has raised objections to some of the recommendations of Lodha committee that was set up in the wake of the IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal.

1,634

What is it? The number of people who were sentenced to death globally in 2015, the highest in 25 years.

Why is it important? This renews the debate on capital punishment and human rights. The number of executions saw an increase of 50% in 2015 over the previous year, even as the number of countries that abolished death penalty in 2015 increased to 102 from 60 in 1996.

Tell me more: Three countries – Iran (977), Pakistan (320) and Saudi Arabia (158) – accounted for nearly 90% of executions last year. The United States, the only country in the Americas to have carried out death sentences in 2015, was ranked fifth with 28 executions. The numbers are from Amnesty International.

Rs 15-20 crore

What is it? The amount Kishore Biyani’s Future Group is reportedly paying to buy Rocket Internet-backed startup FabFurnish.com.

Why is it important? This is Future Group’s first acquisition of an online store and Rocket Internet’s first exit in India. The latter has been trying to sell its Indian investments (including FoodPanda, Jabong, PrintVenue and FabFurnish), which have been struggling to be in business. FabFurnish laid off a fourth of its employees last August.

Tell me more: The Future Group, which owns a home and furnishing business under the brand ‘HomeTown’, is looking to leverage the deal to reach out customers in areas with no offline or minimal presence.

160 km/hour

What is it? The speed of Gatiman Express that connects Delhi and Agra.

Why is it important? India’s fastest train. While there have been incremental improvements in the speed of train over years, this is India’s attempt to leapfrog. India plans to build a high speed train network, be completed by 2023 and costing $14.8 billion.

Tell me more: The second fastest train, Bhopal Habibganj Jan Shatabdi Express takes an extra 17 minutes to cover the distance between Delhi and Agra.

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