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Rs 29,524 crore

What is it? The revised revenue target of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for fiscal 2018.

Why is it important? This is a 40% reduction from the projection made by the Finance Ministry, of Rs 47,305 crore. The dipping revenues of Indian operators has led to a drop in licence fees (8%) and spectrum usage charges (3-6% of gross revenue) paid to Dot.

Tell me more: DoT says the fourth quarter licence fees is Rs 2,686 crore, down from Rs 3,450 crore in the third quarter. The gross revenue, according to Business Standard, was Rs 2.10 lakh-crore in FY17, from Rs 2.36 lakh-crore in FY16. In May, an inter-ministerial panel was constituted to bring relief to the financially strained telecom sector through policy reforms.

83.6 million

What is it? The number of Tata Motors’ shares Tata Sons will buy from Tata Steel.

Why is it important? It’s an indicator that Tata Sons is reducing cross-holdings among its group companies. Tata Sons’ stake would increase from the current 28.71%, and Tata Steel’s go down to nil from 2.9% in Tata Motors. Tata Motors still owns 0.46% in Tata Steel. Tata Steel had earlier brought down its stake in Titan.

Tell me more: Tata Sons was reportedly planning to spend about Rs 7000 crore to buy shares from group companies and reduce cross holding.

62

What is it? The number of people killed in a raging forest fire in central Portugal since Saturday.

Why is it important? Portugal is prone to forest fires during the summer months, but this disaster has been termed the country’s biggest tragedy in memory by its Prime Minister Antonio Costa. People were killed in their cars, trapped by the flames as they tried to evacuate.

Tell me more: A lightning strike during a dry thunderstorm (in which the rain evaporates before hitting the ground due to heat) and caused a forest fire.

62%

What is it? The percentage of marginal farmers (those with less than 1 hectare of land) that have borrowed from non-institutional lenders.

Why is it important? Non-institutional lenders include moneylenders, family and friends, according to PRS Legislative Research based on 2013 data. This suggests that farm loan waivers – being considered by some state governments – will have minimal impact on marginal farmers. In contrast, in case of large (10+ hectares) and medium (4-10 hectares) farmers, loans from non institutional sources stand at 21% and 29% respectively.

Tell me more: Among states, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have most number of households in debt – at 93%, 89% and 83% respectively. All India average is about 52%. Reserve Bank of India, among others, have pointed outthe negative impact of farm loan waivers in the recent past.

2 months

What is it? Grace time for filing Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns post its planned launch on July 1st.

Why is it important? This will help Indian companies, especially small businesses, transition to the new system, which requires them to file three returns a month. Some have raised concerns that the country might not be ready yet for GST, given the complexity of the new tax laws, and the current IT infrastructure in the country. They have proposed that it should be either postponed or rolled out in a phases, starting with a few industries. But GST Council, which governs GST under the chairmanship of India’s finance minister, has said there will be no delay.

Tell me more: GST Council also approved an anti-profiteering authority to penalise businesses that don’t pass on the benefits of GST to customers. The authority will be in force for two years.

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News in Numbers, July 8, 2016: Demand notices to 6 telecom firms, sale of bad loans in 2015-16…

Rs 12,488.93 crore

What is it? The amount in demand notices likely to be issued by the Department of Telecommunications to six telecom operators for having under-reported their adjusted gross revenues of Rs 46,045.75 crore between 2006-07 and 2009-10. This was pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in March.

Why is it important? The telecom industry is already reeling under debts of Rs 4 lakh crore (as of March 31) and the notices come ahead of the expensive spectrum auction scheduled for mid-July. The demand from DoT is unlikely to be resolved soon. The telecom companies had contested this earlier saying the definition of adjusted gross revenue for calculating license fee is under litigation in various courts, which calls for clearer rules and policies.

Tell me more: The CAG had pointed out various instances of under-reporting of revenue, which the telcos had contested and said those issues have either been settled or stayed by various courts.

 

2%

What is it? The percentage of Indian banks’ bad loans that were sold to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in 2015-16, according to a report. An ARC buys bad loans from banks, explores ways of making the asset attractive and then sells it.

Why is it important? Highlights the need for more tools for bad loans recovery. The percentage of non performing assets (NPAs) sold to ARCs decreased from 5% in 2014-15 to 2% in 2015-16 even as the NPAs pile up. Banks put up bad loans worth Rs 1.3 lakh crore for sale in 2015-16, of which only Rs 20,000 crore got sold.

Tell me more: Gross NPA increased from 4.6% of total advances in 2014-15 to 7.6% in 2015-16 (highest in 12 years) and could rise to 8.5% by March 2017.

 

2,900

What is it? The number of words reportedly copied by the Indian environment ministry from the 3,850-word Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy draft adopted by the US government.

Why is it important? Besides plagiarism, the proposal that those who go ahead with projects without prior clearance under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification must remediate the damage and provide compensation, has raised concerns. At present, starting an environmental project without the government consent is a crime and can lead to imprisonment under Indian laws. Experts say this is a misuse of executive powers to dilute laws made by the legislature.

Tell me more: In the US, environmental violations are civil offences. The joint secretary who issued the draft notification on May 10 (open for comments for two months) has denied copying the content from the US policy and has said that the idea has been borrowed.

 

53.39%

What is it? Uttarakhand’s score in the provisional ease of doing business rankings among states. The score and rankings could change based on more data that the states might submit till end of this month.

Why is it important? The state, which was ranked 23 last year, has jumped to the first position as of this morning. Gujarat, which was on top of the rankings last year, has fallen to the 11th position. Shows intense competition among states with some of the most industrialised ones such as Maharashtra and Karnataka dropping out of the top 10. Such competition might help India improve its ranking in the ease of doing business globally, which is at 130, according to the 2016 report.

Tell me more: The final rankings would be released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in August after verification of the submissions made by the states.

 

509

What is it? The number of people who have been shot and killed by the police in the US in 2016 so far, according to data compiled by the Washington Post.

Why is it important? Such police action – directed disproportionately at the blacks –  has come to global attention after two black men were killed by the police in Louisiana and Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. US President Barack Obama called for changes to the criminal justice system and said such incidents reflect racial biases in the criminal justice system and that African-Americans and Latinos are more likely to be questioned by the police than the whites.

Tell me more: The Post has collated the numbers based on news reports, public records, social media and other sources. At this rate, 2016 might equal or surpass the number of people killed by the policemen in 2015- 990.

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