News in numbers, Jan 14, 2016: Revamped crop insurance scheme, India’s diaspora population…

 

2%

What is it? Premium, as a percentage of insured value, to be paid by farmers for insuring kharif crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, a revamped crop insurance scheme. It will be 1.5% for rabi crops and 5% for commercial or horticultural crops.

 

Why is it important? The revamped crop insurance aims to derisk farming by capping the insurance premium, with government subsidising the remaining cost. The type of losses covered are also being widened. Farmers will now be encouraged to diversify into non-food crops as most of their losses could be covered and premium to cover that will be only 5% of insured value. Horticultural crops don’t have minimum price support.

 

Tell me more: Only 27% of farming households are covered under existing crop insurance schemes.  

 

Rs 1.40 per litre

 

What is it? Increase in price of petrol to implement the BS VI emission norms, which will come into effect from 2020. In the case of diesel, the impact would be Rs 0.63 per litre.   

 

Why is it important? Car makers have complained about lack of quality fuel as hindrance to implement emission norms. Now, Indian Oil Corporation, India’s largest oil refiner, will invest Rs 21,000 crore to upgrade its fuel by 2020. Diesel passenger vehicles will cost 20% more, but petrol vehicles will increase by only 2% to meet the BS VI norms.  

 

Tell me more: India’s BS VI norms is equivalent to Europe’s VI standards, which is in practice from 2014.  

 

13.5%

 

What is it? Luxury tax imposed by Bihar government on common Indian sweets and savouries like samosas and kachori if the price is above Rs 500 per kg.

 

Why is it important? With the ban on sale of alcohol from April this year, the state government is looking at ways to increase or levy new taxes to compensate for the loss of tax on alcohol. This will increase the cost of food and other items in the state.    

 

Tell me more: Bihar estimated to collect Rs 4,000 crore as excise duty on alcohol in 2015-16. This is around 12% of the state’s tax collection.

 

16 million

 

What is it? Size of India’s diaspora population in 2015. India has the world’s largest number of people living outside the country where they were born.  

 

Why is it important? Migration is beneficial as remittances help in bridging trade deficit. India received $ 70 billion of remittances in 2014, around 22% of India’s export in 2014-15.    

 

Tell me more: International migration increased by 41% between 2000 and 2015. This also includes 20 million refugees.

 

4 billion

 

What is it? The number of people who still don’t have access to internet as against 3.2 billion (or 60% of world’s population) who have access. 2 billion people don’t use mobile phones.

 

Why is it important? Of the 4 billion, more than 1 billion are in India. Shows the digital divide, if left unaddressed, will lead to a new underclass, says the World Bank. Offline investments in education, technology and infrastructure are key to bridge this divide.  

 

Tell me more: 500 million across the world live in areas where there are no mobile signals.

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