News in Numbers, June 30, 2016: Terror attacks in India foiled, Grofers lays off 10% of staff…


What is it? The number of men who were arrested on suspicion of plotting a series of attacks across the country on behalf of the ISIS on Wednesday.

Why is it important? The team had reportedly planned bomb blasts in areas such as Charminar, an important government building and markets and malls. This is the third such action on ISIS collaborators since last year; in the first two instances, a total of 43 were arrested. One of the most dangerous terrorist organisations in the world, the ISIS had threatened to send fighters to conduct guerilla attacks in India a couple of months ago.

Tell me more: In the raids, the National Investigation Agency and the local police seized weapons, nitrate-based explosives, 40 mobile phones, a laptop, a pen drive, 32 sim cards and Rs 15 lakh in cash.

Rs 1.02 trillion

What is it? The amount that would be given as pay and pension increases to 10 million central government employees and pensioners after the Cabinet approved the Seventh Pay Commission on Wednesday.

Why is it important? This, along with the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme for ex-servicemen, is likely to boost savings and stimulate urban spending, especially in sectors such as automobiles, consumer durables and fast-moving consumer goods. The cumulative impact is estimated to be 0.63% of the GDP, according to Fitch’s India Ratings and Research chief economist. However, this may have an upward impact on inflation – retail inflation hit a 21-month high in May driven by food prices.

Tell me more: A report by the State Bank of India says this may impact the country’s fiscal deficit target in 2017-18. The employees and the pensioners would receive the hikes along with their August salaries and be paid with effect from January 1, 2016. The government will pay Rs 12,133 crore in arrears in the current financial year itself.



What is it? The share of monthly personal budget for consumer durables that’s spent on vehicles in India for domestic (as against enterprise) use, according to the latest government data.

Why is it important? Underlines the importance of automobiles and car ownership for urban and rural consumers, and therefore for the car companies, in India. Vehicles command the highest share even for enterprise use in both the urban and rural areas, accounting for an average of 80% of the monthly per capita expenditure.

Tell me more: The second highest expenditure was on jewellery across rural and urban India. Other items that Indians like to spend on are mobile phones, laptops, tablets, air-conditioners, geysers and coolers. In terms of services (excludes health and education), Indians spend the most on eating out followed by travelling.


150 – 200

What is it? The number of employees grocery-delivery startup Grofers has laid off. It’s about 10% of its total employees.

Why is it important? With this, Grofers joins a list of other hyperlocal startups such as Peppertap, Localbanya, Townrush, which have either downsized or shut down their operations earlier. Unicorns such as Flipkart and Paytm had tried their hand in this segment but pulled back, indicating that the business model for such hyperlocal startups has been tough to establish and sustain.

Tell me more: Grofers, which has raised about $165 million so far from investors such as Softbank, Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, also revoked offers given to 67 students who were to join the startup in July. In January, Grofers had announced shutting down operations in nine cities and only four months before that, had expanded to 27 cities.


Rs 4,251

What is it? The average airfare to travel from Delhi to Chennai between June 29 and July 4 when booked on June 28, according to an analysis by for ET. Last year, the average airfare for the same route in the corresponding period was Rs 6,218.

Why is it important? Last minute booking is proving to be cheaper by up to 52% on various routes this year when compared to 2015. A 20% year-on-year decline in oil prices and an increase of 7-8% in passenger capacity are being attributed for the drop in fares, according to The discounting could also be to achieve high passenger load factors.

Tell me more: In recent times, airlines, especially budget carriers, were seen decreasing air ticket prices but hiked cancellation charges by 50-100%.

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News in Numbers, June 22, 2016: India’s FDI inflows, ISRO’s biggest-ever single launch…

$44 billion

What is it? India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2015, up from $35 billion in 2014, according to a report by United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Why is it important? This puts India in the 10th position, though this is still less than 2% of its GDP (for Vietnam, it is 5% of its GDP). In terms FDI stock (outstanding value of all FDIs happened so far), India lags behind smaller countries such as Singapore and Mexico, which shows that it has a lot of potential to position itself as an attractive destination for foreign investment.

Tell me more: The government liberalised FDI norms in nine sectors on Monday, the second such policy overhaul in seven months. In November 2015, the government eased the rules in 15 sectors.


Rs 11.8 trillion

What is it? The share of 240 of the top 500 corporate borrowers in total outstanding debt of Rs 28.1 trillion, constituting about 42%.

Why is it important? Most of these loans are stressed, adding to the burden of Indian banks, which are reeling under record bad loans of Rs 5.6 trillion as of March 2016. It may hit their profitability and capital requirement plans further, if these companies fail to service their debt repayments. Of the Rs 11.8 trillion, Rs 5.1 trillion is already stressed (in default) while the remaining Rs 6.7 trillion faces the risk of default because these borrowers may be unable to refinance their loans that mature in 2016-17.

Tell me more: The report by India Ratings and Research warns that of the Rs 6.7 trillion that faces the risk of default, Rs 4.6 trillion could already be delinquent. The top 500 borrowers accounted for nearly a third of the total outstanding loans in 2014-15 and are estimated to account for 25-30% of the total assets in 2016-17.



What is it? The number of satellites the Indian Space Research and Organisation (ISRO) launched on a single rocket at 9.26 am today.

Why is it important? This would be the space agency’s biggest-ever single launch, double of the number of satellites placed in 2008. This would demonstrate ISRO’s capability of sending satellites to the lower earth orbit in a single launch even as state agencies face competition from spaceflight companies run by billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. It would also help ISRO tap into the global opportunity of small satellite launches.

Tell me more: The primary satellite carried by launch vehicle PSLV-32 would be India’s Cartosat-2 (images sent by the satellite would be used for cartographic applications, coastal land use and regulation and water distribution, etc.), besides co-passenger satellites from countries including the US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia.



What is it? The number of people killed due to lightning in Bihar in the last 24 hours.

Why is it important? This is the highest death toll in lightning strikes within a day, according to the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority. A less-known or less-focussed cause of death in India, lightning kills more people than any other natural calamity. Lightning, which has accounted for a tenth of deaths caused by nature in most years, has caused 2,000 deaths every year since 2005.

Tell me more: The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has set up lightning location network in Maharashtra and it is planning to extend it across India. The Bihar government has announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the victims’ families.



What is it? The number of years for which the Railway Budget has been presented separately, ahead of the General Budget.

Why is it important? This year’s Rail Budget presented by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu may well be the last, if NITI Aayog’s recommendation not to do this as a separate exercise is accepted by the government. The think-tank has argued that the separate Budget has been of no use to the sector and instead, has turned into an event to announce populist measures. The Rail Budget constituted 85% of the country’s Budget during the British rule but now, it is less than 10%.

Tell me more: The 20-page note titled ‘Dispensing with the Rail Budget’, jointly authored by NITI Aayog and economist Bibek Debroy and Kishore Desai, Officer on Special Duty, has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office. The government has asked the Railway Ministry for its comments on the same.

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News in Numbers, May 13, 2016: Maggi yet to regain lost glory, five-year plans to end…

Rs 259 crore

What is it? Nestle India’s net profit in the three months ended March 2016, down 19.6% from Rs 320 crore in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? The firm has attributed the slide to the ban of its popular snack Maggi noodles last month for nearly six months, pointing to the fact that it is yet to recover the lost market share last year. The snack, which accounted for nearly a third of its total sales in 2014, commanded an 80.2% of market share in instant noodles segment in the first quarter of 2015, which is now at 50%.

Tell me more: The company’s net sales declined by 8.4% to Rs 2,296 crore in the first quarter of 2016. Popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev has said that Patanjali noodles would overtake Maggi as the top noodles brand and that their production of ‘atta’ (wheat) noodles would be increased from the current 100 tonnes to 300-500 tonnes, without specifying a time frame.


Rs 13 lakh crore

What is it? The estimated stressed assets, a fifth of total bank loans, in the Indian banking system, according to a director at India Ratings and Research, Fitch’s Indian affiliate.

Why is it important? If true, then this indicates that the situation is worse than acknowledged by the bankers – at the end of December, the total stressed assets was over Rs 8 lakh crore. This is likely to hurt the banks’ profitability even further and restrict credit growth, which could affect economic growth – again leading to defaults and slowdown in production.

Tell me more: This would make it difficult for banks, especially the public sector ones, to raise capital, putting additional burden on government finances. The central bank has directed the banks to clean up their balance sheets by March 2017. Stressed assets include bad loans, restructured assets and written-off assets.



What is it? The number of Indian cities among the top 10 most polluted in the world, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Why is it important? Though this number has come down from six to four and also, Delhi has been pushed to the 11th spot from the top, smaller cities such as Gwalior (second), Allahabad (third) and Raipur (seventh) have recorded higher air pollution levels. Some measures taken in the recent times such as not allowing pre-2000 trucks into the city have helped reduce pollution levels in Delhi. This calls for a concerted national plan to reduce pollution levels across cities.

Tell me more: According to a research, 5.5 million die prematurely due to the effects of air pollution globally and India accounts for a fourth of such deaths.



What is it? The number of years for which India’s vision documents would be reportedly prepared, replacing the current 5-year plans.

Why is it important? This would have a bearing on the way policies are framed and implemented, hopefully leading to a long-term focus on issues. According to unnamed officials, the 15-year vision documents would also deal with internal security, defence and external security – in addition to social and economic issues, which the five-year plans largely focus on.

Tell me more: The new plans include a seven-year National Development Agenda, which would outline the schemes, strategies and programmes to achieve the 15-year-vision. The seven-year agenda would be reviewed every three years to ensure it is aligned with financial resources. The current 12th year plan ends by March 2017 and the 15-year vision plans would be implemented from 2017-18.



What is it? The stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp that Nissan Motor Company has agreed to buy for $2.2 billion.

Why is it important? This makes Nissan the scandal-hit company’s single-largest shareholder with Mitsubishi group companies’ stake coming down to 22.4% from 34% earlier. This deal assuages Mitsubishi’s viability concerns, which augurs better for the 7,777 companies and 410,000 people it deals with (estimates by Teikoku Databank, a corporate credit research firm).

Tell me more: A few days ago, Mitsubishi admitted to having tampered with the fuel economy data of cars sold in Japan for the last 25 years, including some sold to Nissan.

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News in numbers, Dec 11, 2015: Recall by Honda Cars India, Twitter’s India revenue…





What is it? Number of cars Honda Cars India will recall to replace the fuel return pipe, which leads unspent fuel back to the fuel tank.


Why is it important? Faulty return pipes could potentially result in fuel leakage and stop the engine. This is the fourth recall for the Japanese carmaker this year adding up to 3.3 lakh units in 2015. It’s about a fifth of the total number of cars that have been recalled in India since the Society of Indian Automobiles introduced a voluntary code on vehicle recall in July 2012.


Tell me more: The recall includes 64,428 units of diesel variants of Honda City (manufactured between December 2013 and July 2015) and 25,782 units of diesel variants of Honda Mobilio (manufactured between June 2014 and July 2015).


$140 billion


What is it? The capital Indian banks would need to ensure full implementation of Basel III norms by 2019, according to a report by ratings agency Fitch. Basel III norms require banks to have enough capital and liquid assets in its coffers.


Why is it important? It means banks will have to raise more capital. In case of public sector banks, that would mean government injecting capital to maintain its stake in the banks. The Indian government’s July announcement of providing $11 billion to state lenders over the next four years will not cover the requirement.


Tell me more: Bad loans account for 4.2% of the total lending in Indian banks, and more than a tenth of its loans are stressed (bad loans plus restructured loans)


Rs 13.26 crore


What is it? Revenue of the Indian unit of Twitter (TwitterCommunications India) in 2014-15.


Why is it important? It’s 0.12% of its global revenue ($1.59 billion), even though Twitter is estimated to have about 22.2 million users in India, or 7% of its global monthly users. It has a much bigger mindshare, and is being used extensively in the relief efforts around Chennai floods.


Tell me more: TwitterCommunications India’s revenue is up 3 times from Rs 4.17 crore last year. Its net profit also increased threefold to Rs 1.07 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 35.7 lakh the previous year. Globally, the company has been struggling to increase its user base.


Rs 21,457 crore


What is it? Total debt in ‘default’ category (It is considered ‘default’ if repayment is delayed by a day) as of December 8 this year, according to India Ratings and Research.


Why is it important? This is more than double of what was recorded in the entire year of 2014 – Rs 9,035 crore. It’s yet another indicator that the economy is not performing as well as the GDP numbers suggest.


Tell me more: Data from another rating agency, Credit Rating Information Services of India (CRISIL), shows that debt in the default category was at Rs 25,895 crore as of September this year compared to Rs 28,323 crore for the full year in 2014.


$3 billion


What is it? Extent of economic loss caused by severe rainfall and flooding in November and December in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, according to reinsurance broker Aon Benfield.


Why is it important? One of the early estimates of the loss. Expect updates in the coming days, after on ground assessments and extrapolation of insurance data (Insurance penetration is low in India – about 3.9%). As it is, this is about a third of the annual economic losses India is estimated to incur per year, as per a report by the United Nations. The annual economic losses due to disasters is estimated to be about $9.8 billion per year, of which floods account for nearly three-fourth or 71% ($7 billion).


Tell me more: Claims by India’s sole domestic reinsurer, General Insurance Corporation, is likely to reach up to $300 million.

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