A costly waiver

Rs 30,500 crore

What is it? The amount Maharashtra government was set to waive off in farm loans, according to its chief minister last week.

Why is it important? The government has now said it would waive off all farm loans, in response to farmers’ unrest.  The final amount is yet to be confirmed, but the amount the government was willing to waive off represents over 98% of the state’s planned capital expenditure of Rs 31,006 crore. The promise of the waiver of all outstanding loan payments saw farmers end their strike of over a week.

Tell me more: The strike had seen destruction of farm and dairy produce, leading to a rise in prices in the state.

 

17.79 million-tonne

What is it? India’s fuel consumption in May, 2017.

Why is it important? The country’s fuel demand rose 5.4%, the most in the last six months. It had suffered a setback in January-March, when demand fell following demonetisation. The pickup began last month.

Tell me more: Diesel, which comprises 40% of the sales, rose 8% to 7.5 million-tonne, while petrol 15% to 2.4 million-tonne, in May, 2017 over last year.

 

4

What is it? The number of days of listing time for initial public offerings (IPOs), the markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is considering.

Why is it important? It would be less than the present norm of six days taken to list a company on the stock exchanges from the end of bidding in an IPO. The reduction aims to cut the time for which investors’ money is locked in, a move Sebi had been mulling for a few years.

Tell me more: In 2015, the applications supported by blocked amount (Asba), a mandatory service for retail investors, was introduced cutting down listing times. It made banks debit the investment only after the stock allotment. By January, 2016, the time gap came down to six days from the earlier 12 days.

 

66

What is it? The number of items for which GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council has reduced tax rates.

Why is it important? The council was facing demands to reduce tax rates for 133 goods and services, and it’s an indicator of intense pressure it is facing as the government prepares to roll out GST from 1st July. The council also relaxed rules for more number of small and medium businesses – by increasing the the upper limit for the ‘composition scheme’ to Rs 75 lakh. Composition scheme exempts small businesses with a certain turnover from GST, and lets some of them pay GST at a concessional rate.

Tell me more: The items with reduced rates include some cinema tickets, insulin, instant food mixes and printers. GST council will meet again to clear the remaining issues – including e-way bills and lotteries – on June 18th.

 

$2.68 million

What is it? The amount an anonymous bidder will donate to a San Francisco charity to have lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett.

Why is it important? The bid amount is down from $3.46 million in 2016, also from an anonymous donor. Auctioned on ebay, Power Lunch with Warren Buffett has been garnering over a million dollars every year in the last ten years. The annual auctions began in 2000.

Tell me more: Glide, the charity, helps the homeless, homeless women and drug users  in San Francisco. Buffett has raised over 25 million for Glide in the 18 auctions so far.

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India’s heavyweight in space 🚀

3,136 kg

What is it? The weight of the GSAT-19 satellite scheduled for launch by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Monday.

Why is it important? It is India’s heaviest satellite yet, to be carried by the GSLV Mark III rocket, India’s heaviest rocket so far. The communication satellite, to be launched from Sriharikota, will improve Internet speed and data connectivity across the country.

Tell me more: The launch vehicle can carry up to 4,000 kg of payload and will be placing the satellite at a distance of 36,000 km from the Earth.

 

$108,026

What is it? The Wipro Chairman Azim Premji’s compensation in the 2016-17 fiscal.

Why is it important? It has dropped 63% from $292,991 from FY 2016, even as Wipro’s profit decreased 4.7% to Rs 84.9 lakh-crore.  As IT sector faces rough weather, complaints about compensation to its leaders have been growing too. CEOs of Infosys, Cognizant and Genpact took pay cuts recently.

Tell me more: Former Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy, in an interview, called for senior IT executives to cut down their compensations to stop lay offs.

 

12

What is it? The number of arrests British police have made following Saturday evening’s terror attack in London.

Why is it important? The attack, claimed by terror group Isis and which killed seven, comes close on the heels of 23 May’s attack in Manchester, considered the second deadliest terror attack in the UK. West European countries have seen a marked rise in terror attacks since 2014.

Tell me more: The modus operandi was similar to the March attack in Westminster, that of the assailant(s) ramming a vehicle into pedestrians and then wielding weapons to attack passersby. The arrests were made in east London.

 

$7 billion

What is it? The additional capital SoftBank is in talks to raise for its Vision Fund.

Why is it important? If it succeeds, it will be the world’s first private equity fund to cross $100 billion mark. With $93 billion in commitments, it’s already the world’s largest PE fund. It will drive investments in technology, especially in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence.

Tell me more:  The current backers include Apple, Qualcomm, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s PID public fund.  The group is talking to investors in Canada and West Asia, according to reports.

 

Rs 5,000 crore

What is it? The estimated amount to be raised in initial public offerings by four companies in June.

Why is it important? This would be around 25% of the minimum value of Rs 20,000 crore expected to be raised in FY17 through IPOs. In 2017, so far, eight companies have raised Rs 6,335.83 crore. The stir in IPOs had made India one of the busiest in the region spanning Europe, West Asia, India and Africa in the first quarter of 2017.

Tell me more: Twenty-six companies had raised Rs 26,493.84 crore in IPOs in 2016. Tejas Networks, CDSL, Eris Lifesciences and Au Small Finance Bank are expected to list in June.

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News in Numbers – September 11, 2015

News In Numbers: September 11, 2015

 

Rs 3,300 crore

The amount the perpetrators of Satyam scam have to pay. The latest order by the market regulator in the seven-year-old Satyam scam directs the 10 entities linked to the main accused, B Ramalinga Raju, including his mother, brother and son, to disgorge or give up illegal gains made by them. This is worth Rs 1,800 crore plus an interest of Rs 1,500 crore on the disgorgement amount, which has been levied since January 2009 when Raju confessed to having inflated the accounts of Satyam Computer, the company he founded. In what is known as India’s biggest corporate fraud, a special court under the Central Bureau of Investigation held the founders of Satyam Computer guilty in the Rs 7,000-crore scam and Raju was sentenced to seven years in jail.

 

23,016

Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles, an indicator of economic growth, in August. This segment grew 35.29% from the same period a year ago. Plans by the Indian government to make safety features mandatory in commercial vehicles – which might push the price up by 3-5% – seems to have helped this growth. Overall, commercial vehicles registered an increase of 7.58% in August while passenger vehicles grew by only 3.99%. Car sales, which are a reflection of demand and economic growth, rose for the 10th consecutive month but slowed down to 6% on a year-on-year basis.

 

2.8

The multiple by which the net profit of Indigo Airlines jumped in 2014-15 from the previous financial year to post its biggest ever net profit. With revenues of Rs 13,925 crore and net profit of Rs 1,304 crore, Indigo is India’s largest domestic airline by market share (35.8% in July 2015). According to Indigo president Aditya Ghosh, the financial performance is mainly because of low fuel costs, passenger growth and better yields. In 2014-15, the Indian airline industry posted losses of Rs 7,000 crore, despite a 35% drop in jet fuel prices. In contrast, Indigo is the only consistently profitable airline in the country. The airline recently placed an order for 250 A320neo aircraft, Airbus’ largest order by number, at a cost of $26.6 billion (about Rs 1.55 lakh crore). Interglobe Aviation, the company which operates Indigo, is looking to raise more than Rs 2,500 crore in an initial public offering.

 

Rs 600 crore

The amount Tata Motors is looking to earn from supplying buses to the government under the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Tata Motors earned Rs 100 crore . The company is providing 65% of the total number of buses being rolled out under this scheme. The JNNURM covers 10 projects including the bus rapid transit system, which ran into various problems in different states such as delayed implementation and supply of substandard buses. This July, the Indian government had written to the states saying that it has received information related to the procurement of only 2,228 buses whereas it had released Rs 884.21 crore for 7,509 buses. The centre warned the states that if they did not provide the updated information by August 24, 2015, then it would withdraw the funds already released with interest and cancel the sanctions.

 

3.3 million

The number of Indians who died prematurely in 2013, according to a study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet. The top five avoidable risks associated with health loss and disease burden outlined by the study were: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, household air pollution from solid fuels, unsafe water sources and smoking. Of these, the first three were estimated to cause 7.8%, 5.2% and 4.7% of the total health loss in India in 2013. Based on the death rates India recorded in 2010, the Lancet has estimated that the country would see 9.3 million premature deaths before 70 years of age, at 2030 – and, this would be more than any other country.

 

 

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