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. is a search engine for public data

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News In Numbers – August 20

News In Numbers: August 20



The equity stake in Uber the Tata Opportunities Fund, a private equity fund, would have received for $100 million at the taxi-hailing services provider’s last valuation of around $50 billion. According to Reuters, the Tata fund invested around $75-100 million in Uber. The fund’s managing partner had also said it invests up to $100 million in its deals. With 150,000 contracted drivers and a 40% growth on a month-on-month basis, Uber says it commands a 35% market share in India. Uber is looking to accelerate its growth in India, where the leader is homegrown taxi app, Ola. Bangalore-based Ola raised $400 million in April to become the third-most valuable venture-backed company in India.



The number of entities that received an in-principle approval yesterday from the Reserve Bank of India for setting up payment banks, out of 41 applications. These entities include telecom companies (Vodafone and Airtel), conglomerates (Aditya Birla Nuvo and Reliance Industries), technology providers (Tech Mahindra) and the Department of Posts, among others. The idea of payment banks, first suggested by a committee headed by Dr Nachiket Mor, is to provide basic banking services such as deposits, payment and remittances to the unbanked and the under-banked. Interestingly, a report by Morgan Stanley India says though the bigger cities such as Bangalore rank high in terms of job opportunities, the smaller ones are better in terms of financial infrastructure (ATMs and bank branches). Nashik and Varanasi are the toppers in terms of financial penetration.



Of the total CSR (corporate social responsibility) amount Nestle India should have spent in 2014 (the company follows a calendar year), it ended up utilising only 28%. The Companies Act 2013 stipulates that companies meeting certain benchmarks in terms of net worth, revenue and net profit must spend 2% of the profits generated in the last three years on CSR initiatives. Of the six major FMCG companies, including ITC and Hindustan Unilever, Nestle India is the only one to have missed its CSR targets. As many companies missed their targets in 2014-15, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs cut down its estimates of the corpus to be created through CSR spending by nearly half.


Rs 27.92 crore

The total disproportionate assets former telecom minister A Raja has been accused of amassing between 1999 and 2010. The fresh charge against him, his relatives and close associates has come about after the team investigating the 2G spectrum case submitted a report suggesting the possibility of disproportionate assets. This May, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was acquitted in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case, though BJP leader Subramanian Swamy (who filed the case against her) termed the Karnataka High Court judgment as a “tragedy of arithmetic errors” and had decided to appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court.



The rate of total cognizable crimes per lakh population in Indore, the highest among 53 cities with a population of over 1 million people. Surat has the lowest rate of total crimes per lakh population at 95.9. The three biggest reasons for murder in India in 2014 were: personal vendetta, property dispute and love affairs. Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of honour killings. Delhi recorded the highest number of rape cases per 1 lakh citizens at 1,813 followed by Mumbai. is a search engine for public data


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Higher taxes and bigger warning labels did nothing to slow down ITC in the past decade

This piece originally appeared on


In the last decade, when taxes on cigarettes increased tenfold, when warning labels on cigarette packs exploded in size, when curbs were placed on smoking in public places, when public advocacy and awareness of the dangers of smoking was probably at its loudest, the operating profit of ITC’s cigarette business increased fivefold and operating margin 14 percentage points.

Including product taxes, ITC made a profit of 37 paise on every rupee of cigarettes sold in 2014-15; excluding taxes, it made 67 paise. In terms of profitability, nothing in listed corporate India even comes close.















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News in Numbers – July 6, 2015



The number of times the median pay of ITC employees the company’s chairman YC Deveshwar earns in a year, probably among the highest in Indian companies. And, in the case of India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani (chairman of Reliance Industries), this ratio is 205:1. These disclosures follow the new Companies Law and the Corporate Governance Code, which mandate listed companies to disclose the pay structure of top management personnel and average employee. Salary multiples of Indian CEOs are similar to those of CEOs in the US: in 2013, CEO of healthcare company CVS Caremark and Goodyear Tires earned 422 and 323 times the median employee pay respectively.



The death of India Today TV journalist, Akshay Singh while working on the Madhya Pradesh recruitment scam has brought to focus the safety of journalists in the country. The world’s largest democracy is also the eighth deadliest country for journalists. Since 1992, 35 journalists have been killed in India while on assignment, which is more than Mexico and Afghanistan. If a motive is established in Akshay Singh’s case, he would be the 36th such fatality.


Rs 7

The loss the Department of Posts incurs on each postcard. Put another way, what the department earns from a postcard, it incurs a cost of 15 times that. For an inland letter, that multiple is 2.8 times. For speed post, it is 1.4. Only three out of 18 postal services offered by the state-run entity make a profit: letter, book post (other periodicals) and competition postcard.



Over 65,000 people in around 125 villages have been affected as the flood situation worsens in Assam. Nearly 99% of them are from two districts: Bongaigaon and Dhemaji. Less than 4,000 hectares of crop areas were under water. So far this year, five people in Assam, at least 70 people in Gujarat and over 40 people in Jammu and Kashmir (cause of deaths also includes landslides) have been killed due to incessant rains.



Of the 15.3 crore cooking gas consumers, just 7.57 lakh or 0.5% of the total have voluntarily surrendered their LPG subsidy. The government claims that it is able to save Rs 253 crore per annum. The oil marketing companies lost Rs 36,500 crore in 2014-15 on the sale of subsidised cooking gas cylinders. Each consumer is entitled to receive 12 cylinders a year at subsidised rates.


2 of 3

Every two of three rural households own a mobile phone but only one out of ten have a salaried job. Uttar Pradesh has the highest percentage of rural households owning only a mobile phone. Chhattisgarh’s villages are the least connected with 71% of the rural households with no phone, most likely linked to the Naxal violence in the state.


Twitter: @Howindialives

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