DelhiMetroYellowLine

More Cities Come Under Metro Rail Network

 

Amazon and Flipkart are outdoing each other, but last quarter was a downer for both the e-commerce giants. On GST, governemnt collected the lowest tax last month ever since the new tax regime was launched in July. A report said, more people are dying prematurely due to air pollution in India and this can get worse in coming decades. Delhi metro has done a ton of good in encouraging other cities to come under the metro rail network. And in cricket, Ashwin reached a milestone on Monday, as India routed Sri Lanka in the second test at Nagpur.

 

92

What is it? The respective scores of Flipkart and Amazon India in the July-September period, according to the latest RedSeer E-tailing Leadership Index.

Why is it important? Scores of both companies have declined from 95 in the previous quarter. Identical scores of India’s top two e-commerce firms in two consecutive quarters indicates intense competition with no clear winner. While RedSeer did not give any reason for the decline in their scores, the previous quarter saw the flagship festive sales of both Flipkart and Amazon, and the higher volume of orders could have affected customer satisfaction levels.

Tell me more: Flipkart has emerged as the most trusted brand in e-commerce in India, while Amazon tops in customer experience.

 

Rs 83,346 crore

What is it? Collections under GST (goods and services tax) for October up to Monday (November 27).

Why is it important? This is the lowest since July, the first month when GST was implemented in the country. The government attributed the lower tax collections to, among other reasons, lower tax incidence on most goods. In a report on Monday, India Ratings said the government’s disinvestment drive and encouraging GST collections would help “reduce pressure on fiscal arithmetic”. The government has used up 96.1% of its full-year fiscal deficit target in the first five months of 2017-18. It has set a fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of gross domestic product for the current fiscal.

Tell me more: The GST collections in July, August and September were Rs 92,283 crore, Rs 90,669 crore and Rs 92,150 crore respectively.

 

30%

What is it? The percentage of premature deaths in India caused by air pollution alone, according to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

Why is it important? It highlights the urgent need for a multi-pronged approach to lower air pollution levels across the country. The report says every third child in Delhi, which is among the world’s most polluted cities, has impaired lungs. Not only are Indian cities witnessing higher pollution levels but 41 tier-II cities exceed the ambient air quality standard. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has said air pollution could cause 6-9 million deaths by 2060, with the biggest increases in mortality rates in India and China, among others.

Tell me more: The CSE report also said 61% of all premature deaths in the country can be attributed to lifestyle or non-communicable diseases.

 

9

What is it?  The number of Indian cities that will have a metro rail service following the inauguration of the Hyderabad Metro on Tuesday. The other eight cities are Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Gurugram, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Why is it important? India has been late to embracing metro rail as a means of public transport, and it’s only in the last decade, following the success of the Delhi Metro, that cities have taken to it. Another two dozen projects are at various stages of completion or lined up with the ministry of urban development.

Tell me more: China has been extremely aggressive in making the metro rail a mainstay of its public transport system. In the global list of top 10 cities with the longest metro rail network, four are from China; Delhi is at number 11.

 

54

What is it?  The number of test matches that Indian off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took to reach 300 test wickets. Ashwin reached this milestone on Monday, as India routed Sri Lanka in the second test at Nagpur.

Why is it important? Among the 30 bowlers who have scalped 300 test wickets, Ashwin is the quickest to this milestone in number of tests. He bettered the record of Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee, of 56 matches.

Tell me more: Ashwin is the fifth Indian to reach 300 test wickets. Also, he is only the third blower to return at least 50 test wickets in three consecutive calendar years, the others being Shane Warne (1995-97) and Muttiah Muralitharan (2000-02).

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When the Earth isn’t enough 🌏

336,107

What is it? The number of H-1B visa applications filed by employers between October 2016 and June 2017.

Why is it important? The number of applications has not declined despite US President Donald Trump pledging to crackdown on misuse of H-1B visas, a temporary work permit. At this rate, the full year applications will exceed that of 2016 number of 399,349. However, approvals for current fiscal is sharply lower at 59% as compared to 87% in 2016. This could be because large number of petitions in current year are still pending decisions.

Tell me more: 74% of applications are filed for candidates born in India.

 

47.9

What is it? Nikkei’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in July, a composite indicator of India’s manufacturing activity based on a survey by Markit, a financial information and services company.

Why is it important? This is the lowest since February 2009, the days of the global financial crisis. It slipped below the 50-point mark separating expansion from contraction for the first time this year. Uncertainty and information gaps around goods and services tax that was introduced on July 1st seems to have negatively impacted purchasing decisions.

Tell me more: New orders fell for the first time in the year-to-date and at the fastest pace since early 2009.

 

7

What is it? The number of months in which this year’s Earth Overshoot Day has arrived (August 2) this year, according to environmental groups WWF and Global Footprint Network.

Why is it important? Earth Overshoot Day is the date in which the annual demand of humanity on nature exceeds what the planet can regenerate over the year and it is the earliest so far. In other words, humanity is using up planetary resources such as soil, water and air at a faster pace than ever and will live on “credit” for the rest of the year; currently, we are using the resources of 1.7 Earths.

Tell me more: We would be able to return to living within the means of one Earth before 2050 if we moved the Earth Overshoot Day back by 4.5 days every year. Some of the ways in which individuals can help stop and later, reverse the trend is by burning less fuel, cut back on food waste and eating less meat.

 

22.4%

What is it? The percentage increase in car sales for Maruti Suzuki, which has more than 50% market share, in July this year.

Why is it important? Car sales has picked up after introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1st, after contracting by 11% in June. Other car makers, except Hyundai Motor, reported double-digit increase in sales growth.

Tell me more: Shipping of cars from factory gate to dealers is counted as a sale, so the increase could be because of manufacturers pushing the stock to dealers than end-customer demand.

 

61.5%

What is it? The increase in the net worth of Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, in one year.

Why is it important? With a total net worth of $35.2 billion, he has raced ahead of Hong Kong-based Li Ka-Shing to become the second richest Asian after Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma. Globally, Ambani went up to the 19th position, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This has been possible partly due to investors rallying behind Reliance Jio that has disrupted the telecom space in the last few months.

Tell me more: A report by Oxfam, which works to eliminate poverty, said India’s 57 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom 70% of the population, pointing to rising income and wealth inequality in the Asia’s third largest economy.

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Enroute larger tax base

7.95 million

What is it? The number of applicants to register under the goods and services tax (GST) as of mid-Friday.

Why is it important? Registered taxpayers under GST is now 50,000 short of 8 million tax base of value added tax, excise duty and service tax. With registration open until tomorrow, the tax base under GST is expected to exceed the previous regime. Meanwhile, government has extended last date for small businesses (with revenue of Rs 75 lakh) to register under composition scheme where traders will pay lower tax rates.

Tell me more: Widening of tax base will help government to collect more taxes, and could lead to reduction in tax rates. India’s tax revenue to gross domestic product is 17%, as compared to 25.4% in US.

 

Rs 9,509 crore

What is it? The unspent funds with Health Societies in 27 states (from Rs 7,375 crore in 2011-12) under the National Rural Health Mission, according to a report filed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Friday.

Why is it important? The amount increased while in six states, Rs 36.31 crore has been diverted to other schemes. The CAG observed the shortfall in availability in physical infrastructure such as primary health centres to be between 24-38% in 28 states, instances of non-availability of essential drugs in 24 states, and medicines issued to patients without prescribed quality checks in 14 states. The average shortage of five types of specialists (general surgeon/physician, obstetrician/gynaecologist, paediatrician and anaesthetist) ranged between 77-87% in select community healthcare centres in 27 states.

Tell me more: About 13,000 facilities did not report data on Health Management Information System, a web-based interface, in 2015-16 due to which the overall position on health indicators has not been ascertainable.

 

Rs 71,941 crore

What is it? The total amount of undisclosed income detected by way of searches, seizures and surveys by the Income Tax department between April 1, 2014 and February 28, 2017, as per information submitted by the government to the Supreme Court.

Why is it important? This is after government’s effort to curb black money generation. Among the steps taken by the government to flush out black money, it recently cancelled the registration of one lakh firms while it is probing 37,000 shell companies for funnelling black money and another 3 lakh for suspicious transactions.

Tell me more: Until a couple of months after the demonetisation move, another attempt against those hoarding money illegally, the total undisclosed amount admitted was over Rs 5,400 crore while the total quantity of gold seized was over 300 kg.

 

Rs 1.5 lakh

What is it? Amount payable to members of central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for each meeting.

Why is it important? Apart from paying a sitting fee to MPC members, the central bank also codified conduct involving conflict of interest, confidentiality and silent period. For example, members are required to maintain a seven-day silent period seven days before and after the meeting. This will generate greater confidence in decision making of MPC.

Tell me more: MPC’s mandate is to guide monetary policy to achieve a targetted inflation rate of 4% through adjustments in lending rates and provisioning norms by the central bank.

 

31

What is it? The number of people arrested by the Rajasthan police for stealing crude oil from India’s biggest onshore oilfield owned by Cairn India

Why is it important? The crime went undetected for six years, and 50 million litres of crude oil worth $ 7.75 million was stolen. Drivers and contractors working in the oilfield were part of the network that stole crude oil.

Tell me more: Trucks carrying water – a byproduct of oil exploration – out of the oilfield were carrying crude oil, and was sold to two factories nearby with storage capacity. These factories then sold to clients across India.

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How did GST change your shopping bill? Here’s a tracker

What impact has the goods and services tax (GST), the new system of taxation that consolidates a multitude of Central and state taxes in one place, had on the urban household shopping budget?

In order to answer this question, we collated prices of goods that make up an average middle-class shopping cart.

The exercise was carried out thrice: once on 30th June before GST came into effect, on 2nd July after GST came into effect and lastly on 13th July, a week since the new GST regime.

We sourced prices from the Big Basket website for 71 items covering 18 categories of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), of which GST was applicable on 47 items, for the five main metros.

While the early net impact post-GST was a mixed bag, with some gains and losses, a week into the new GST regime, your household bill is set to get dearer by around 2%.

On the actual selling price, which factors in the discounts given by a retailer, the total cost of our basket of 47 items increased in all five cities, with Bengaluru recording the maximum increase (of 2.67%).

Find our story on Livemint.

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