News in Numbers, Jan 10, 2017: Jostling its way to the top…

Rs 345.3 crore

What is it? The total earnings of Hindi movie ‘Dangal’, which released on December 23, as on Day 17.

Why is it important? This makes it the highest grossing Hindi film, beating the movie ‘PK’, which was released on December 19, 2014 and collected Rs 340.8 crore in its lifetime. The movie starring Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra and Sakshi Tanwar, is abiographical sports drama based on the true story of a Haryanvi wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters who made it big in the international wrestling arena. His elder daughter went on to become India’s first female wrestler to win the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Tell me more: Aamir Khan has set records with his Christmas releases in the last few years. Dhoom 3 (2013), 3 Idiots (2009) and Ghajini (2008) earned Rs 284.27 crore, Rs 202.95 crore and Rs 114 crore respectively.



What is it? Air India’s ranking among the 10 worst international airlines of 2016, according to a report by aviation insights company FlightStats.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when the airline is trying to make a turnaround and has a target to make its first net profit by 2022. Air India posted an operating loss of Rs 161 crore in the first three quarters of 2016-17 (which means its daily loss has come down to Rs 58 lakh in the April-December 2016 period from Rs 4 crore in the first six months of last year). However, its annual target of achieving Rs 1,086 crore in operating profit by March 2017 seems unlikely. Air India has said that it disagrees with the report and that it seems that it is “fabricated”.

Tell me more: The odds of delay on an Air India flight is 38.71% compared the best international airline’s (Netherlands-based KLM) rate of 11.47%. Israel’s El Al Airlines and Reykjavik-based Icelandair have been ranked as the world’s worst international airlines of 2016 while Spain’s Iberia and Japan Airlines are the best international carriers after KLM.



What is it? The rate at which indirect tax collections grew in the April-December period of FY17.

Why is it important? The Finance Minister has quoted these figures to suggest that the effect of demonetisation on business activity has been minimal. Collections from indirect taxes, comprising central excise, service tax and customs, grew to Rs 6.3 lakh-crore. This was in spite of estimates of a slowdown in manufacturing and services sectors, hit by the liquidity crunch and subdued consumer spends brought about by the demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November. But in December alone, indirect taxes grew by 14.2% year-on-year, even after declining gold imports led to a decline in customs collections. The collections in April-December account for 81% of FY17’s Union Budget Estimates.

Tell me more: Indirect tax collection in April-December has increased from Rs 3.54 lakh-crore, 3.78 lakh-crore, and 5.04 lakh-crore in 2013, 2014, 2015, respectively. In 2016, central excise collections stood at Rs 2.79 lakh-crore, service tax net collections at Rs 1.83 lakh-crore and customs at Rs 1.67 lakh-crore.



What is it? The rate of home loan interest of Bank of Baroda.

Why is it important? This is the lowest among both private and public sector banks. In the rush to cut borrowing rates after demonetisation, Bank of Baroda has gone even further than the State Bank of India which is at 8.65%. HDFC, among private banks that have cut rates, brought it down to 8.7%. BoB’s rate is expected to earn it customers from other banks as well, which have not passed on rate cuts to customers, especially existing ones.

Tell me more: Bank of Baroda has reportedly waived off the switching fee for moving from legacy base rate of floating loans to RBI-mandated MCLR for existing borrowers to avail the new rate. It has reduced MCLR by 55-75 basis points across all tenors.


$66.7 billion

What is it? The total student loans that American borrowers over 60 years of age owe, according to a report.

Why is it important? This raises concerns about not only their ability to repay their loans but also, about their financial security in old age as the government (in some cases) can withhold their social security checks if they default on their loans. The number of debtors over 60 – the fastest growing age segment with student debt- has increased fourfold in 10 years to 2.8 million in 2015 from 700,000 in 2005. The default rate of those with student loans and aged above 65 had twice the default rate as those below 50.

Tell me more: As many as 44 million borrowers owe $1.3 trillion in student loans. Over two-thirds of the student loans of those above 60 have been taken for their children or grandchildren and some of it for their own education.

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News in Numbers: 36 killed in Istanbul terrorist attack, 37% of India received scanty rainfall…


What is it? The likely percentage of bad loans in Indian banks by March 2017 from 7.6% in March 2016, according to a Reserve Bank of India report.

Why is it important? Indicates that the problem will get worse before it gets better. RBI says bad loans – or non performing assets – will shoot up to 9.3% under a severe stress situation. As a result, banks will have to raise more capital, and if they cannot, their lending will go down. Credit has already slowed down in April and May.

Tell me more: However, the central bank has noted that the severe adverse economic conditions referred to in the report should not be considered as forecast or expected outcomes.



What is it? The number of requests India has sent to other countries seeking information about suspicious banking transactions of Indians abroad in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Why is it important? The number of such requests have gone up substantially from the previous years: 700 in 2013-14, 600 in 2012-13 and ranging between 39 and 92 between 2008-09 and 2010-11. Many of these requests are related to investigations of various scams including the HSBC Geneva case though these also include individuals and entities suspected for hoarding money abroad.

Tell me more: The Indian government has given time till September 30 for people holding unaccounted wealth to come clean and pay their taxes. India has signed an information-exchange agreement with the US and 110 tax jurisdictions have agreed to share information under this pact. As part of another agreement, 58 jurisdictions including India have agreed to share information from 2017 and another 36 countries would join in by 2018.



What is it? The number of people killed in a terrorist attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Tuesday. At least 147 people have been wounded.

Why is it important? The Turkish Prime Minister says ISIS is behind the attack in the 11th busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic. ISIS, which was responsible for nearly a fifth of people killed in terrorist attacks in 2014, is the second most dangerous terrorist organization after Boko Haram (in terms of number of people killed), according to a report. Shows the growing influence of ISIS and their ability to breach security protocols.

Tell me more: Three suicide bombers attacked passengers with bombs and guns and according to preliminary findings, they blew themselves up after opening fire.



What is it? The penalty developers may have to pay buyers in case of delay in handing over homes and apartments, according to the government’s recently announced draft real estate rules.

Why is it important? This is around 1.25-1.85% higher than the home loan rates, providing protection to home buyers. The average middle class home buyers usually avoid lengthy court cases when their homes are handed over to them late, sometimes bearing their monthly rental costs of their current residence in addition to paying EMIs of their new properties.

Tell me more: The Real Estate Regulatory Authority would be set up in states and union territories within three months of the rules being notified. The draft rules are open for public comments and suggestions until July 8.



What is it? The percentage of India that received scanty or deficient rainfall in June as of Tuesday.

Why is it important? Though over half of the country has received normal rainfall this month, some of the drought-hit regions including Vidarbha face a rainfall deficit. The pulse-growing regions have received uneven rains, which could have an upward effect on prices of pulses, which have already been ruling high in the recent weeks. The sowing of kharif has been lower by 23% so far, according to data released last week while water levels at India’s 91 major reservoirs have fallen to 15% of their combined installed capacity.

Tell me more: The southern and north-western states have received rainfall 16% and 2% above average, respectively, while in central India and east and north-east India, there has been a deficit of 23% and 26%, respectively.

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