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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News In Numbers – August 7

News In Numbers: August 7

 

19.2%

Revenue share of data services (essentially, revenues earned from providing Internet access to subscribers) in the Indian operations of telecom company Bharti Airtel for the April to June quarter. This number is set to increase with Bharti Airtel’s decision to launch 4G services, which promises Internet speeds that are up to five times faster than the current 3G, in 296 cities and towns. It will compete against Reliance Jio, which is expected to launch its 4G services later this year. As on 30 June, Bharti had 49 million of its 230 million mobile subscribers using data services, of which 21 million were on 3G services. For the June quarter, average data usage per customer was 706 MB, an increase of 42% over June 2014.

14.47%

Average returns from large-cap equity mutual funds—the closest actively-managed proxy to the stock market—in the past 10 years. On Thursday, the government-run Employee Provident Fund Office (EPFO), the biggest manager of provident fund contributions of salaried employees in India, said it would start investing 5% of its annual inflows into two equity funds that mirror the two bellwether stock indices in India. The current annual rate of assured return that the EPFO provides to its subscribers is 8.75%, though it earns less than that. It is looking at equity to bridge that deficit, but the quantum of current investment is likely to be too small to make a sizeable difference.

11

Number of startups in which Ratan Tata, the previous chairman of the Tata Group, has invested in personally since March 2014. On Thursday, the group, which had revenues of $110 billion in 2014-15, announced e-commerceas one of its growth drivers in the years to come. The first manifestation of this vision, which was outlined by current chairman Cyrus Mistry in his Vision 2025 address to employees on 25 July, will be three ventures, with an estimated initial investment of Rs.1,000 crore.

1966

When the maximum number of planes went missing (eight in all) and which remain unaccounted for, in the last 50 years. In 2014, that number was two, one of them being the Malaysian Airlines plane with 239 people on board. Earlier today, the Malaysian government said that more aircraft pieces—including windows, seat cushions and aluminum foil—have washed up on the same Indian Ocean island where the wing part was found last week and is believed to be from MH370.

34.8 million

Nearly three out of every 100 Indians have reported acute respiratory infections in 2014. This works out to 95,000 cases each day. The environment ministry estimates that air pollution resulted in 35,000 deaths between 2006 and 2014. Indian cities are recording the worst air quality in the world, with 13 of the world’s most 20 polluted cities located here.

 

 

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