News in numbers, Jan 18, 2016: MakeMyTrip under scanner, startups’ 3-year tax holiday…




What is it? Multiple by which the dosage of an existing anti-cancer drug, paclitaxel, can be reduced to achieve the same results as earlier, as per research by a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Why is it important? Reduces the extent of side effects of the chemotherapy drug, which include hair loss, muscle and joint pain, diarrhea and increase the chances of infection. Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world – there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. India had 1.8 million people living with cancer in 2012 (within five years of diagnosis) and 683,000 deaths due to cancer.


Tell me more: Paclitaxel, used for treatment of breast, lung and pancreatic cancers, was packed in containers that were derived from the patient’s own immune system to protect it from being destroyed by the body’s defence system and deliver them directly to the tumours.


Rs 75 crore


What is it? Alleged service tax evasion by online travel company MakeMyTrip. The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) has filed a case against the company for purportedly not depositing service tax collected from customers.


Why is it important? Highlights the need for clearer tax policies for new-age companies. Questions that need to be addressed are: whether online companies like MakeMyTrip and Ola are technology or travel firms; and whether they are sellers or intermediaries need to be resolved to give greater clarity on taxation issues.


Tell me more: MakeMyTrip is collecting two types of taxes: service tax on 60% of the rate the company negotiates with the hotels towards renting of rooms and service tax on 10% of the gross value on the customer vouchers. The DGCEI has alleged that the company has deposited only the second category of service tax it has been collecting.


Rs 5,000 crore


What is it? Total funding three distribution companies have received from the Delhi government in the form of equity, debt, transferred assets and receivables since their inception on July 1, 2002, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The three discoms are: Reliance Power-promoted firms BSES Yamuna Power (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power (BRPL) and Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDL).


Why is it important? The CAG has filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the quashing of its audit of the discoms. The Arvind Kejriwal-government had requested the CAG to audit the discom companies amidst allegations that they had been inflating expenses. But, after two of the discoms moved the Delhi High Court questioning the legality of the CAG auditing them, the court ruled in favour of the companies.


Tell me more: Delhi government holds 49% stake in these three power distribution companies, with majority control with private players.  




What is it? Number of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers who have been fired after not having reported to work for over five years.


Why is it important? Shows the inflexibility of service rules governing government employees, and slow decision making process. The officers have been absent at work for 8-18 years. The reasons for their absence is unknown. Though the Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules state that officials who are absent from duty for over five years (excluding foreign service) are considered to have resigned from the government service, it raises questions as to why action against them was not taken earlier.


Tell me more: The list of officers sacked include two Joint Commissioners, five Deputy Commissioners, three Assistant Commissioners and one Additional Commissioner.




What is it? Number of years for which Indian startups can avail the three-year tax holiday plan as part of the Startup Action Plan announced by the government recently.


Why is it important? Widens the scope as a higher number of start-ups can enjoy the three-year tax benefits. The government has announced that startups would be exempted from paying income tax on their profits for three years, subject to meeting a set of eligibility criteria. With the five-year window, if a startup makes profit on the first year and avails this tax holiday and makes losses the next two years, it will not lose out on the exemption.


Tell me more: Those availing this benefit cannot distribute dividend while receiving the tax exemption.

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News in Numbers – September 1, 2015

News In Numbers: September 1, 2015



The rate at which Indian economy grew in the first quarter of 2015-16, slower than the 7.5% in the previous quarter. Agriculture and manufacturing grew at a slower pace, while construction and trade, hotel, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting grew faster. Ratings agency Moody’s recently downgraded India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth to 7%, from 7.5%, for 2015-16, Japanese brokerage Nomura has pegged the GDP growth rate at 8%. The Indian government has set a target of 8.1-8.5% for 2015-16, while the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has estimated it at 7.6%.


Number of banks the RBI has classified under the ‘Domestic Systemically Important Banks’ category, which means these are too big to fail: State Bank of India, India’s largest state-owned bank, and ICICI Bank, the largest in the private sector. This is the first time the central bank has made such a classification, which will be an annual exercise. SBI and ICICI will have to maintain additional capital as a certain percentage of loans, though both banks say their capital base is higher than mandated. The RBI framework for such a classification will have five buckets. The higher the number, the more systemically important a bank. SBI falls in bucket three, ICICI in bucket one.

$5.6 billion

A theoretical maximum penalty India’s competition regulator can levy on Internet giant Google, based on a calculation of 10% of its average global revenues for the past three years. The Competition Commission of India has accused Google of misusing its dominant position and unfairly promoting its other services through its search engine. In response to queries raised by CCI, 30 companies, including Makemytrip, Flipkart, Nokia’s maps division and Bharat Matrimony, have submitted their views. Google has time until 10 September to respond to CCI’s findings. Google’s search engine had a market share of 97.3% in India in July.


The number of days since ex-servicemen have been agitating at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding the implementation of one rank, one pension (OROP) in addition to annual revision of pension. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has ruled out annual revision, saying it does not happen anywhere in the world. He, however, said the government would “safeguard the interests” of soldiers who retire early by paying them higher pensions. Three more Army veterans have joined the fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar, taking the total number of those on hunger strike to 12. About 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows would be the immediate beneficiaries of this scheme, if implemented.


The number of dengue cases reported in Delhi this year, of which 93.6% were in August alone. The overall number is the highest in five years: thrice what was recorded during 1 January to 29 August between 2011 and 2014. In the same period in 2010, the number of cases was over 1,000. This year, India recorded 9,874 dengue cases until 29 July, of which Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu accounted for 62.7%. The number of dengue deaths in India stood at 25 in the same period, with Kerala accounting for 60% of the deaths.
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