News in Numbers – June 15, 2015


40,000 tonnes

This number denotes the quantity of foodgrains damaged at the godowns of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the last two years. In 2014-15, Odisha saw the highest quantity of foodgrains destroyed (mainly due to cyclone Phailin), followed by Jammu and Kashmir (because of the floods in September 2014). Under the National Security Food Act, 2013, each beneficiary of the public distribution system is entitled to 5 kg of cereals per month. Going by that, the quantity of foodgrains wasted in two years could have benefited around 80 lakh people in one month (4,00,00,000 / 5).


India has received 5% more rainfall than the normal level so far from June 1 but this is not exactly good news because this is mainly because eastern and north-eastern parts of the country received an excess of 22% rainfall. The other regions- northwest, central and southern India received less than normal rainfall – a deficit of 10%, 6% and 4% respectively. This is significant because over 60% of agricultural land in India are dependent on the rains for irrigation. The All-India Daily Mean Rainfall forecast made on June 14, 2015 for the following week shows the rainfall received would be around 23% lower than the observed normal except on June 21, 2015, when it is expected to cross it by a margin.

Rs 75,000 crore

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), owned by the richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, has big-bang plans of launching 4G telecom services, expand its network of retail stores to 900 cities this year and build an e-commerce platform. This involves an investment of about Rs 80,000 crore in the next 15 months. It would be interesting to see how it manages its financials when it already has a debt of Rs 75,000 crore (as on March 31, 2015) – quite an increase if you consider its previously debt-free status.

Rs 17.77 lakh crore

That’s how much the Indian government is likely to spend in the current financial year. The Finance Ministry has asked the ministries to start spending, the only condition being that the focus should be on capital expenditure in areas including roads, shipping, rural development and agriculture. A pickup in indirect tax revenue has given the finance ministry better room for spending. The government has already spent 8.7% of FY15 budget allocation in April (the highest in two decades). The corresponding figures for the previous two financial years were 6.8% (first year of NDA government) and 6.1% (last year of UPA-II government).


That is the number of gold smuggling cases registered in India in 2014-15 – about 4,480 kg of gold worth Rs 1,120 crore were seized in these cases and over 250 people arrested. This is about 1.6 times the number of gold smuggling cases registered in 2013-14 (2,700 cases where 2,760 kg of gold worth Rs 690 crore was seized). In 2012-13, there were 870 such cases, about five times lesser than those registered last year. The World Gold Council estimates the annual smuggling volumes to be around 175 tonnes in 2014, which is about 39 times the gold seized by the Indian authorities in 2014-15.


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