News in Numbers, June 28, 2016: E-commerce in India, committee to maintain inflation targets…

$10.2 billion

What is it? The total gross merchandise value (GMV) of the top e-commerce firms in India at the end of May 2016. GMV is the total value of goods sold excluding discounts.

Why is it important? This is just a 13.3% growth from the GMV the top e-commerce firms recorded last May – and that primarily came from Amazon India, which grew from $1 billion to $2.7 billion in a year. Flipkart’s GMV has remained almost constant at $4 billion for the last one year and Snapdeal’s dropped 50% to $1.2 billion as of June, according to numbers collected by the Economic Times.

Tell me more: Due to the festive season and the discounts e-tailers offered, the total GMV clocked was $10.5 billion in December 2015. Of the total GMV of $10.2 billion recorded in May 2016, others such as ShopClues and Paytm accounted for 22.54% ($2.3 billion).

 

14

What is it? The number of Andhra Pradesh state government departments that have shifted from Hyderabad to Vijayawada, Guntur and Mangalagiri on Monday.

Why is it important? Signals Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s anxiety to move out of Hyderabad (which went to Telangana following the bifurcation two years back) as early as possible. Technically, AP government can function out of Hyderabad for the next eight years, and Amaravati, the new capital is not ready yet.

Tell me more: Government departments would relocate between June 29 and July 21 to the new capital region of Amaravati. However, the Andhra Pradesh government would have to make do with a scattered set-up until the administrative city in the core capital area is developed. The state government has pooled 33,000 acres of land for the development of Amaravati.

 

6

What is it? The number of members on the panel that would be responsible for maintaining inflation targets under the new monetary policy framework.

Why is it important? The RBI has initiated the process to set this panel up, marking it as one of the major changes monetary policy saw under Raghuram Rajan.

Tell me more: The panel will have three members from RBI and three recommended by the government. The panel’s main objective is to make sure the inflation remains within the range agreed by them. Now, retail inflation is 5.76% (May). The committee may be formed before August 9.

 

20

What is it? The number of educational institutions for which the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought greater autonomy from the Human Resource Development Ministry.

Why is it important? A sign that the PMO believes that educational institutions need more freedom to set their own course structure, fee, admission procedures, etc. is needed to become world class. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced during Budget 2016 that easier rules would be provided for 10 public and private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions.

Tell me more: HRD had proposed lighter rules earlier for the “world-class” institutions earlier, but PMO has now suggested they relax it even further.

 

272

What is it? The number of Income Tax Department appeals dismissed by the Delhi High Court in a recent order.

Why is it important? The reason for the dismissal was because the department failed to do something simple: correct the defects in the appeals and re-file them without much delay. The errors included: missing pages, illegible script, wrong font, lack of stamps and proper handing over of case records. The court has directed its registry to ensure that these appeals are not filed again, most of which have tax liability exceeding Rs 20 lakh, leading to a likely revenue loss for the government.

Tell me more: The court was waiting since 2012 for the department to correct the errors in the 272 appeals.

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News In Numbers – August 31

News In Numbers: August 25

 

 

305

The number of cities and towns shortlisted across nine states under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Housing for All) scheme launched in June. This scheme envisages providing houses to 20 million families from the economically weaker section in urban areas by 2022. The first phase (2015-17) will cover 500 cities, and provide assistance of Rs 1-2.3 lakh per house. For the Housing for All (Urban) Mission (except credit-linked subsidy scheme), the government has budgeted Rs 4,000 crore in 2015-16, of which Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (which account for 35% of India’s urban population) would receive nearly one-third of the allocated funds.

 

67%

The percentage of posts lying vacant at the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the premier government agency for handling economic crimes. The ED has a sanctioned strength of 2,064, of which only 682 posts were filled as of March 2015. The main reason being cited for the shortfall, which is affecting the agency’s foreign investigations and probe into sensitive cases, is the lack of incentive schemes. The special incentive allowance demanded by the ED would have a financial implication of Rs 51 lakh a month. As of March 31, 2015, the agency had 1,326 cases pending under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and  4,776 cases under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

 

Rs 15,770 crore

The amount domestic institutional investors (DIIs) invested in stocks in August, their highest monthly investment in over six years. DIIs include insurance companies, banks, mutual funds and financial institutions. This surge comes in the backdrop of a global fall in asset prices, and foreign portfolio investors pressing the sales button in India, due to concerns about China’s economy and its ripple effect on the world. According to an analysis, DIIs’ ownership in 96 of the BSE-500 companies in the quarter ended June 2015 was the highest in at least 25 quarters, while promoter holdings in these companies were the lowest in 25 quarters.

 

$4 billion

The total value of goods sold, or the gross merchandise value (GMV), of Snapdeal till August, up from $1 billion about a year ago. The e-commerce company, valued at $4.8 billion, has said that it would beat Flipkart in terms of GMV by March 2016. Flipkart, whose valuation is thrice that of Snapdeal, has an estimated GMV of $4.5 billion and is aiming for a $10-12 billion GMV target in the next 7-10 months. The ecommerce war is heating up in India, with Amazon recently beating Flipkart and Snapdeal in terms of unique visitors and reportedly crossed $1 billion in sales last September.

 

Rs 132

The amount the country’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), spends on each Jan Dhan account. The bank expects its accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana, a financial inclusion scheme launched by the government in August 2014, to break even by next year if they maintain deposits growth at the current level. The bank has garnered total deposits of Rs 5,125 crore under this scheme, as of June-end. The number of accounts stood at 7.81 crore, of which 56% still have zero balance. In all, Rs 22,000 crore has been deposited in 17.5 crore bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.

 

 

 

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