News in numbers, Feb 5, 2016: Reliance-Birla deal, India’s estimated exports in FY16…

 

Rs 4,800 crore

What is it? Amount for which Reliance Infrastructure has agreed to sell its cement assets to Birla Corp.

Why is it important? This would help Reliance Infrastructure reduce some of its debts (total is Rs 16,000 crore). And for Birla Corp., this would mean its capacity would go up to 15 million tonnes from 9.3 tonnes and may be, quicker than it intends to.

Tell me more: Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group is counted among the top 10 indebted groups in India according to a Credit Suisse report, with total debt of Rs 1.14 trillion.

Rs 15,000 crore

What is it? Amount the Petroleum Ministry has sought from the Finance Ministry to shore up India’s second phase of strategic oil reserves.

Why is it important? Crude oil is stored in underground rock caverns that can be used in case external supply is cut off. India imports around 80% of its oil needs and this is expected to go up to 90% in the next 20 years, according to an India Tech-PwC report.

Tell me more: India is spending nearly Rs 5,000 crore “towards crude filling costs” in three storage facilities – Vishakapatnam, Mangalore and Padur – which can hold over 5.1 lakh truck-tanker loads of crude oil. This can power India for about 13 days as against strategic oil reserves of 90 days of net oil imports, the global standard set by the International Energy Association.

$265-270 billion

What is it? India’s estimated exports in 2015-16, according to the Federation of Indian Exports Organization (FIEO). This is 13-15% lower than the exports recorded in 2014-15.

Why is it important? Lower commodity prices account for a large portion of this fall, but export volume too is shrinking. Nearly half of 76 commodities for which volume data is available registered a drop in quantity sold in April – October 2015. These 76 commodities account for 44% of exports.

Tell me more: Job creation fell by a net 43,000 in April-June 2015, of which export-oriented companies reported a decline of 26,000.

10-12%

What is it? Projected growth of India’s IT and software services export revenue to about $121 billion in 2016-17 by industry lobby Nasscom.

Why is it important? Software industry employs 3.7 million people and lower growth rate would mean hiring would stagnate at 200,000 in next financial year. In comparison, nearly 1.6 million engineers graduate each year, and most of them vie to gain employment in the software industry.

Tell me more: The growth forecast of 12-14% in the current fiscal and also, the third consecutive year in which there is a decline in projections. The lower end of the projection for next fiscal is the lowest in five years.

$120 million (over Rs 800 crore)

What is it? Amount 400 food delivery startups in India have raised from venture capital firms and other investors in the last three years.

Why is it important? Despite all the funding, the startups have failed to replace the traditional delivery networks that have been in existence since the 1890s. The famous Mumbai’s ‘dabbawalas’ (colloquial term for those who deliver the meal boxes) provide approximately 200,000 lunch boxes from central kitchens and cooks’ homes every day. The biggest food startups in India including FoodPanda, TinyOwl and Zomato have had to let go of people and scale down operations in the last few months.

Tell me more: Mumbai’s dabbawalas have been popular for their low error rate (of meal boxes going astray) despite being run by a group of semi-literate people who use no technology and charge a nominal amount of Rs 400-1,200 per month depending on the distance and time taken.

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News in numbers, Dec 9, 2015: Job creation numbers, India’s missing women and children…

 

43,000

 

What is it? Net fall in jobs in textiles, automobiles, leather, metals, gems and jewellery, transportation, information technology/business process outsourcing (IT/BPO) and handloom/powerloom sectors in the April-June quarter this year, compared to the previous quarter, per quarterly employment survey.

 

Why is it important? This is a four-quarter low for job creation in manufacturing and export-oriented sectors. Despite a 7% GDP growth recorded in the first quarter of 2015-16, dismal job creation numbers show economic recovery is slower than expected and still has a long way to go.

 

Tell me more: Automobiles and textiles and apparels reported the largest decrease in jobs in the April-June 2015 quarter: 18,000 and 17,000 respectively.

 

1.35 lakh

 

What is it? Number of missing women in India as of November 30, 2015, as per government records.

 

Why is it important? That is an increase of 41% from nearly a year ago. Trafficking of women and children for various purposes such as for domestic help, forced marriages, sexual exploitation, forced labour, begging rackets and stealing of organs, is a major problem in India. According to non-governmental organisation, Prajwala, which had moved the Supreme Court against trafficking of women and girls, as many as 200,000 women and children are inducted into the flesh trade every year.

 

Tell me more: The number of missing children as of November was 61,000, an increase of 34.5% from December 2014. The Indian government has approved the setting up of 150 specialised investigative units on crimes against women in states and union territories on a 50:50 fund sharing basis.

 

Rs 1,427 crore

 

What is it? The amount Flipkart India and Flipkart Internet borrowed from banks by pledging their assets in the August-October period this year.

 

Why is it important? High growth companies such as Flipkart tend to avoid debt, because it comes with interest costs, and other risks related to default. Instead, they go for venture capital funding. In fact, Flipkart has raised $3.2 billion since inception – and over 80% of it in the last two years.

 

Tell me more: Flipkart India and Flipkart Internet reported a loss of Rs 2,000 crore in 2014-15, three times the loss it posted the previous financial year.

 

Rs 65-70 crore

 

What is it? The amount the two new Indian Premier League franchisees for Pune and Rajkot will forego from the central pool of the league’s revenue to be a part of IPL.

 

Why is it important? Shows the intensity of competition for the franchise. In fact, New Rising Promoters and Intex Technologies would be paying BCCI Rs 16 crore and Rs 10 crore respectively, per year for the teams. Power utility CESC Ltd chairman Sanjiv Goenka’s New Rising won Pune by bidding minus Rs 16 crore while mobile phone maker Intex Technologies got Rajkot by bidding minus Rs 10 crore. In a reverse bidding process by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the companies that bid for the lowest amount to be received from the central pool for the teams, are declared winners.

 

Tell me more: These two teams would replace Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years.

 

Rs 5,000

 

What is it? Flight ticket prices (starting range) to fly from Mumbai to Goa between December 20 and January 1.

 

Why is it important? This is half of the ticket prices that reigned five years ago between the same sectors. And, Goa is one of the busiest places to holiday in Christmas/New Year season. Fuel prices at a near seven-year low and increase in capacity have led to this drop.

 

Tell me more: The average airfare between the New Delhi-Mumbai sector in December 2015 is Rs 4,984 compared to Rs 5,581 in 2010.

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