End To Delhi’s Power Tussle?

Rs 200

What is it? The increase in minimum support prices (MSPs) for paddy (per quintal), the crop most planted by farmers, in the 2018-19 rain-fed kharif season, from Rs 1,550 in the previous season.

Why is it important?On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a hike in MSP—the price at which the government buys from farmers— of all kharif crops for the 2018-19 season. This comes at a time when farmers have been demanding better prices for their produce, after a sharp fall in prices affected their income last year. The announcement comes ahead of state elections in agrarian states such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, besides the general elections that is less than a year away.

Tell me more:The impact of the MSP hike, according to some analysts, could result in an increase in inflation rates, add to fiscal deficit and likely to bring on steeper hikes of interest rates than anticipated.


What is it? The number of judges on the constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, that unanimously ruled on Wednesday that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor does not have independent powers to make decisions and is bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers.

Why is it important?This is a landmark verdict that sets a new framework for the power tussle between the Delhi government and the LG appointed by the central government. The court ruled the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern in all matters except for three areas: police, land and bureaucracy. It said the LG cannot obstruct or stall the decisions of the council of ministers, and that the LG can refer issues where there is a difference of opinion to the President only in exceptional matters.

Tell me more:Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called the verdict a “victory for democracy”. Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy, who is locked in a similar power struggle with LG Kiran Bedi, has demanded for the top court’s ruling for Delhi to be applied to his union territory as well.


What is it? Number of units of the Nano car manufactured by Tata Motors in June 2018, against 275 in June 2017.

Why is it important? That production number has raised the question of whether Tata Motors is close to pulling the plug on its ambitious low-cost car that never became the best-seller it was intended to be. Back in August 2017, Satish B Borwankar, chief operating officer of Tata Motors, had said the company did not want to phase out the Nano car, and that it was working on alternative plans for it, including testing an electric version.

Tell me more:Sales of Nano have fallen nearly 90% to 7,591 units in 2016-17 from 74,521 in 2011-12. The company stopped exports earlier this year.


What is it?The number of large accounts with loans worth Rs 3,80,000 crore that will require resolution by September 1, 2018, according to credit ratings agency ICRA.

Why is it important? Over 90% of these accounts have already been classified as non-performing assets (NPAs) by banks. However, under the Reserve Bank of India’s new stressed asset resolution framework, if a resolution plan is not in place within the 180-day deadline, they have to be referred for insolvency proceedings. Going by the limited recovery in some of the cases that have been resolved so far (except for in the steel sector) and given the high share of power sector in the 70 accounts, there is uncertainty regarding the haircuts banks may need to take upon resolution.

Tell me more:ICRA said though the pace of addition of NPAs would be slower (likely at 3%) for the banking system in 2018-19, compared with 7.3% in 2017-18, public sector banks could continue the trend of reporting losses in the current financial year too.


What is it?The number of balls West Indies took to bowl out Bangladesh in the first test match of their ongoing bilateral series in North Sound, Antigua.

Why is it important? Bangladesh were dismissed for just 43 runs, which was their lowest score ever and the 11thlowest completed innings score over the history of 2,310 test matches. This was also the lowest completed innings score since 1974, when England dismissed India for 42 runs at Lord’s.

Tell me more:Kemar Roach took five wickets, all in the space of 12 balls, which is the fewest for a five-wicket haul, along with Monty Noble in 1902 and Jacques Kallis in 2002.

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News in numbers, Nov 18, 2015: Tiger Global raises stake in Amazon, people living with HIV…


What is it? The percentage of fines imposed by India’s competition regulator of India that it managed to collect, as per its annual report of 2013-14. In absolute terms, the Competition Commission of India imposed fines of Rs 9,886 crore, of which it recovered Rs 72 crore. The remainder is either stuck in appeals or has been stayed.

Why is it important? The regulator, in its six years of existence, has initiated action against prominent names in several sectors. In its latest action on Tuesday, the CCI fined three airlines — Jet, IndiGo and SpiceJet — for colluding to fix fuel surcharge in cargo transport. But seeing the cases through and collecting the amount fined has proven to be elusive.

Tell me more: Some of the other major CCI fines have been against real estate company DLF (Rs 630 crore), against 14 car manufacturers (Rs 2,545 crore) and 11 cement majors (Rs 6,200 crore).




36.9 million

What is it? The number of people worldwide who were living with HIV, of which, 2.6 million were children below the age of 15 years. India had 2.1 million cases in 2013.

Why is it important? On Tuesday, American actor Charlie Sheen, best known for his roles in Wall Street and Two and a Half Men, said in a television interview to NBC that he had been diagnosed HIV-positive four years ago. He also said he had been sexually active after the diagnosis, while maintaining he had disclosed his condition to his partners.

Tell me more: At least 33 states in the US have laws that mandate people infected with HIV to disclose that fact to their sexual partners.



What is it? The approximate stake bought by US investment fund Tiger Global in global online retailer Amazon in the September quarter.

Why is it important? Tiger Global, one of the most aggressive investors in Internet businesses in India, is the largest investor in Indian retailer Flipkart. In India, Amazon and Flipkart are rivals, and the common presence of Tiger Global will be a source of conversation, possibly consternation. Back in 2014, Myntra was merged into Flipkart at the behest of common investors, one of them being Tiger Global.

Tell me more: As many as 1,284 institutions and mutual funds hold 68% of the shares of Jeff Bezos-controlled Amazon.



What is it? Share of mobile phone in the Internet traffic of India, which is thrice the corresponding figure for the US, according to a May 2015 report by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

Why is it important? It is a measure of where the growth in Internet adoption and usage is coming from in India, and reaffirms why a high Internet penetration number in this decade might be in the realm of the possible. Another report by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International, released on Tuesday, tipped India to hit 402 million Internet users by December and leapfrog the US as the country with the second-largest Internet user base, after China.

Tell me more: According to the second report, men account for 71% of Internet users in India and women 29%, and that 69% of users were using  



What is it? The number of sugar stocks that hit the upper price band in trading on Tuesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange, suggesting some sort of a turnaround for a sector reeling under a cash crisis and dues to farmers.

Why is it important? The wide expectation is that sugar production in 2015-16 will be lower than in 2014-15, which will hold prices of this essential commodity, even fuel them. Credit ratings agency ICRA has projected a 4.6% drop in production to 26.8 million tonnes in 2014-15.

Tell me more: In October, the Central government announced a string of measures to help companies and release arrears to farmers.

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News in Numbers – September 9, 2015

News In Numbers: September 9, 2015




The number of village panchayats in which the government has laid optic fibre cable (OFC) till July 2015 to provide high-speed broadband connectivity under the BharatNet project. The government plans to connect all 250,000 village panchayats under this plan by end-2016. In a March 2015 report, a committee constituted to review the programme (earlier called the ‘National Optical Fibre Network’) estimated the project cost at Rs 72,778 crore. An addition of 100 users per village panchayat would increase the share of Internet subscribers as a percentage of the total population by 1.9%. The committee also estimated that the increased Internet penetration would translate to potential economic benefit of Rs 66,465 crore in 2018-19.



Share of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru in the total bids received for FM radio stations in the ongoing e-auctions. The bid price for a radio station was Rs 169.2 crore in Delhi, Rs 122.8 crore in Mumbai and Rs 109.3 crore in Bengaluru. Leading stations in Delhi and Mumbai currently generate yearly advertising revenue of Rs 35-40 crore each. There were no takers for 38 stations in 13 cities. The government received bids worth Rs 1,156.9 crore for 97 channels in 56 cities. A Ficci-KPMG study has projected the size of the radio industry to be $19.6 billion in 2015 (calendar year) and $22.3 billion in 2016.



The number of hotel deals done so far in 2015 as against two in 2014 and three in 2015, according to real estate consultant JLL India. With hotel valuations falling by over 25%, the consultancy expects five more hotel deals to be sealed by end-2015. The major deals concluded this year include ITC acquiring Park Hyatt Hotel in Goa for Rs 515.4 crore, Radhakishan Damani (promoter of hypermarket chain, D-Mart) acquiring Radisson Blu Resort & Spa (Alibaug) for Rs 135 crore and SAMHI Hotels buying a Vizag-based hotel for Rs 90-95 crore. Ratings agency ICRA expects the Indian hotel industry to grow by 5-6% in 2015-16, with occupancy rates improving by 2-4% and revenue per room by 3-5%.



One of every five deaths of children below the age of 5 years took place in India in 2015, according to data put out by the British medical journal The Lancet. India lost 1.2 million children below the age of 5 years. The under-5 years mortality rate for India has dropped 62% in 15 years and, currently, stands at 48 deaths per 1,000 live births, against the global average of 43. Pneumonia (15%) and diarrhoea (9%) were the main killers. According to Unicef, India is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 4, which aims to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, unless the related determinants are “urgently addressed”. Only six states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal — are likely to achieve this goal.


Rs 160-190
The black market cost of a litre of petrol in Manipur currently — about thrice the price in metros. The flow of essential commodities into the state has been hit due to a landslide, which blocked parts of the Imphal-Dimapur highway in August. Further, the weak condition of a bridge on the Imphal-Silchar highway has also hit the movement of supplies. Rationing of fuel is in force, and has led to long queues at petrol outlets. At least 20 people were reportedly killed when a landslide caused by heavy rains buried an entire village in Manipur’s Chandel district last month. Geological Survey of India has estimated that nearly 15% of India’s landmass or 0.49 million sq km area is prone to landslides. There are six states in which most districts fall under high to very high landslide hazard classes, and Manipur is one of them.



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