News in Numbers, Mar 16, 2017: Snapped 👓

$2.3 billion

What is it? The amount State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, plans to raise from capital market in the coming fiscal.

Why is it important? It will help the bank to increase its capital adequacy ratio from  13.73% at present. It will also help in providing for bad loans. State Bank’s gross NPAs (non performing assets, or bad loans) stands at 7.23% of its total loans. Its chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya recently said that resolution of NPAs is one of the key near term challenges for the bank.

Tell me more: Bad loans is a broader problem in the country, and Indian banks need $90 billion to meet Basel III standards, according to rating agency Fitch.

 

Rs 200

What is it? The maximum a cinema theatre can charge per ticket in Karnataka.

Why is it important? In the neighbouring Tamil Nadu, movie ticket price is capped at Rs 120. It was not the only populist measure that Karnataka, which presented its budget on Wednesday, took from Tamil Nadu. The state will open 198 “Namma Canteens” in the Bengaluru to provide breakfast for Rs 5, and lunch and dinner for Rs 10, similar to the hugely popular Amma Unavagam, state subsidized canteens, in Tamil Nadu.

Tell me more:  The budget – which had a number of announcements aimed at improving infrastructure, access to finance and healthcare – also removed value-added tax on liquor.

 

$24.49 billion

What is it? India’s exports in February 2017.

Why is it important? It’s up 17.49% from same period last year. Imports went up 21.76% to $33.39 billion. The increase in trade comes at a time when there is widespread fear that the world is turning more protectionist, led by United States and Europe.

Tell me more: Trade deficit came down to $8.9 billion in February from a provisional $9.84 billion in January 2017. For the eleven months ending February trade deficit stood at $95.3 billion.

 

14%

What is it? India’s logistics cost as a percentage of GDP.

Why is it important? High logistics cost is an indicator of inefficiency, and erodes competitiveness of a country. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, said the government wants to address it and has unveiled a plan that includes aviation as a part of multi-modal logistics hubs in India. The 400 regional airports that the government is setting up across the country will have cold storage and other logistics solutions to make the sector more efficient, he said.

Tell me more: The government expects 15 logistics parks to be set up in the next five years, as a part of the larger Make in India initiative.

 

$20.77

What is it? Share price of Snap, the company that runs Snapchat, at the close of Wednesday

Why is it important? Snap made its debut in the public market on March 2 at $24, and hit an intra-day high of $29.44 the next day. Its IPO was priced at $17, and its grand debut was seen as a reflection of the high valuation that the companies at the intersection of social, mobile and hardware commanded. However, many analysts believe that it’s over-priced, and see the decline that Snap saw in the four out of last five sessions as a necessary correction.

Tell me more: Snap’s market cap is at $24.06 billion. Unlike Facebook, which has users from across age groups, Snap appeals mainly to an younger audience. It had 161 million daily active users end of December.

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News in Numbers, Nov 10, 2016: He paid less, much less…

< $5

What is it? The amount US President-elect Donald Trump likely paid per vote, according to a Reuters analysis campaign finance records and voting data. This is on the assumption that the candidates spent all the money raised.

Why is it important? This is about half of what Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton spent per vote. Until mid-October, Trump’s campaign committee spent around $238.9 million versus Clinton’s $450.6 million. This works out to be around $859,538 per an electoral vote for Trump and $1.97 million per an electoral vote for Clinton (this doesn’t include spending between October 20 and until election day). Trump got about $5 billion worth of free media coverage during the campaign, which is more than twice of what Clinton got, according to data analytics firm mediaQuant.

Tell me more: Interestingly, Trump also spent lesser than the campaigns of President Barack Obama ($630.8 million) and Mitt Romney ($360.7 million).

 

Rs 2.5 lakh

What is it? The limit above which cash deposits made till December 30 in a bank account will be reported to the tax department by banks.

Why is it important? After having banned old currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 effective Tuesday midnight, the government had announced that one could deposit the old notes in the banks between November 10 and December 30. The authorities would then match the deposits with the income tax returns of the depositors and any mismatch would be treated as a case of tax evasion. The tax amount and a penalty of 200% of the tax payable would be levied. Jewelers are being given instructions to note the PAN numbers of their buyers and the government would take action against those who do not comply with this.

Tell me more: There is a format that has been created to collect information from the depositors and CCTV cameras would be installed to keep track of them. In addition, banks have also appointed nodal officers to deal with situations as and when they arise.

 

202 crore

What is it? The number of currency notes in Rs 100 denomination that would be fed into ATMs over the next few days.

Why is it important? As many as 12,000 cash vans would reportedly carry these notes and on their return trips, they would carry 1,300 notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations (approximately, worth Rs 8.5 lakh crore). This is probably the largest amount of cash that has ever hit the Indian roads at the same time. However, such a seamless operation is possible only if enough Rs 100 notes are supplied on time to banks, cash in transit operators and ATM service providers.

Tell me more: There is likely to be inconvenience for customers who wish to withdraw Rs 100 notes as most ATMs have cassettes (used to dispense cash) that can hold up to only 2,250 notes at a time. And, again, most of these are fitted with four cassettes, which means these ATMs can dispense about Rs 9 lakh when they are fully filled up.

 

Rs 1 lakh crore

What is it? The amount the Karnataka government plans to invest in the development of irrigation projects.

Why is it important? The southern state has been facing its second consecutive drought year, which is also the sixth straight year of deficient rainfall. Karnataka, which is involved in river disputes with six states, has been seeking about 28% of its drought-related losses of Rs 12,125.79 crore this year in disaster relief. The number of farmer suicides has increased from 122 in 2014-15 to a record 1,461 in 2015-16, which the government officials attribute to crop losses, drought and pressure from private money lenders.

Tell me more: The new estimates of irrigation spending are double of the earlier outlay and the escalation in costs is due to delays in completion of existing projects and addition of new ones.

 

1.5%

What is it? The growth forecast for the euro zone in 2017, according to the European Commission.

Why is it important? This is lower from the 1.8% growth predicted by the body in May thanks to Britain’s exit from the European Union, political uncertainty and weak global trade. Investment is expected to rebound in 2018 and is forecast to grow by 3.3% this year, 3.1% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018.

Tell me more: The UK economy is expected to grow 1.9% in 2016 and this is expected to fall to 1% in 2017, which is almost half of what the Commission had forecast in its previous estimates before the country voted to leave the European Union.

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Get Smart Fast | Cauvery Dispute

Here’s a short video of protests this week in Karnataka over Cauvery water.

So, what’s going on?

The dispute relates to sharing of Cauvery river water among four southern states – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry. The river originates in Karnataka, and the state can regulate water flows to downstream states like Tamil Nadu.

The dispute has been there for more than a century. In 2007, the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal gave its final verdict determining how the water will be shared. This came 16 years after the tribunal was established and 570 days of sitting.

 

What did the order say?

The tribunal estimated quantum of water available for sharing as 740 thousand million cubic feet or TMC. (If you’re stumped by what these units are, don’t worry. We have a small note on what they mean). Then it determined how this water will be shared among the four states:

Tamil Nadu – 419 TMC
Karnataka – 270 TMC
Kerala – 30 TMC
Pondicherry – 7 TMC

Further it gave a month-wise release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, the two major states in the dispute.

 

If the order has clearly detailed how to share water, where is the problem?
The final order only defined ‘normal year’ when the total available water in the cauvery basin is 740 TMC. But there was no such estimate when the water availability falls due to poor monsoon. The verdict only states, “….in a distress year, the allocated shares shall be proportionately reduced among the states….”

Karnataka now claims it has very low level of water in the reservoir because of poor rains, and refused to release water.

 

Now Supreme Court asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water for 10 days. How much is that?

Cusec is the short form for cubic foot per second or the flow of water per second. One cusec is 28.317 litres of water. TMC is thousand million cubic feet.

If 11,000 cusecs of water is released for a day, then the total quantum of water is 1 TMC. So for 15,000 cusec, it is equivalent to 1.36 TMC.

If 15,000 cusecs of water is released for next 10 days, the total quantum is 13.63 TMC of water. That’s equivalent to filling 1.55 lakh olympic size swimming pools.

In comparison, Tamil Nadu is entitled to 40 TMC of water in September as per final order of the tribunal.

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News in Numbers – September 7

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Rs 249

What is it? The monthly price at which state-owned BSNL is offering unlimited usage broadband connection on a landline.

Why is it important? BSNL’s offer comes in the wake of Reliance Jio shaking up the Internet access segment, offering 4G wireless services free till December and subsequently at an effective cost of Rs 50 per GB. As of April, BSNL was number one in broadband in the landline segment (9.9 million subscribers) and number five in mobile broadband (10.6 million).

Tell me more: BSNL will offer a speed of 2Mbps for 1 GB of data and 1 Mbps subsequently. This offer is for six months, after which subscribers will move to a BSNL plan with less generous terms.

8

What is it? Number of additional teams that Gianni Infantino, president of the world soccer governing body, is pitching for in the 2026 FIFA World Cup—from the current 32 to 40.

Why is it important? More teams means greater viewer interest—and commercial value—in the event around the world. But it can also entail a format rejig, potentially translating into a longer tournament and even fewer matchups between top teams.

Tell me more: After staying constant at 16 for nearly five decades, the number of teams in the World Cup increased to 24 in 1982 and then to 32 in 1998.

15,000 cusecs 

What is it? The amount of water to be released by Karnataka per day for the next 10 days to Tamil Nadu, per Supreme Court order on Tuesday.

Why is it important? Violent protests erupted in Karnataka almost immediately after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict. This adversely impacted the inter-state movement of people as Tamil Nadu registered buses were stopped from crossing the border fearing safety of passengers and buses.

Tell me more: As per the final verdict of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Karnataka has to release 192 thousands million cubic feet of water to Tamil Nadu. It specified how much should be released each month. The problem arises when monsoon is deficit like this year so far. The tribunal only stated water share should be proportionately reduced, but did not spell out a formula.

6

What is it? The number of Karnataka-based schools that lost their CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliation because they produced fake minority certificates to circumvent Right to Education Act provisions.

Why is it important? RTE Act stipulates that 25% of the seats be reserved for economically backward and disadvantaged sections of the society. While it highlights CBSE’s tough stance, the incident also reflects the extent to which educational institutions flout rules. It comes a day after an UNESCO report warned that India will be late by 50 years in achieving its education goals.

Tell me more: The six schools – five based in Bangalore and one in Mysore – belong to National Public Schools group.

$65 billion

What is it? German pharma and crop chemical giant Bayer’s bid for agro-biotech major Monsanto

Why is it important? If it goes through, it will be the biggest ever corporate takeover in cash. The deal would also reflect the consolidation taking place in farm supplies sector. Bloomberg points out  China National Chemical Corp agreed to buy Swiss seed company Syngenta, and  DuPont and Dow Chemical plan a crop-science unit post merger. Monsanto tried buying Syngenta earlier, and was in talks with BASF, world’s largest chemical producer to buy its agro chemicals unit.

Tell me more: Bayer offered to pay $122 a share in May, increased it to $125/share in July. Now it stands at $127.50/share (i.e $65 billion overall) and some analysts expect it to go even higher.

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