Indians’ debt quagmire

10.25 lakh

What is it? The number of farmers in Punjab who would benefit from the loan waiver announced by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday.

Why is it important? In the season of farm loan waivers, Punjab is the third state, after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, to announce one. However, even if over 55% of Punjab’s farmers would benefit from the waiver for small and marginal farmers, the amount the state will have to write off is yet unclear.

Tell me more: Farmers tilling up to 5 acre of land will get waivers of up to Rs 2 lakh, while other marginal farmers will get a flat Rs 2 lakh waiver. Uttar Pradesh’s move has set off demands across states, often turning violent as in Madhya Pradesh for farm loan waivers.

 

1,000 Earth-days

What is it? The time India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spent in its orbit.

Why is it important? MOM, launched in November, 2013, has remained active beyond its expected life span of six months (180 days). Lauded for its low-cost Rs 450-crore Mars spacecraft, Isro says extra fuel has led to its extended life span after it successfully entered the Mars orbit in September, 2014.

Tell me more: The spacecraft is studying the Martian surface and atmosphere and sending back images. Isro had saved Rs 2.61 crore of the budget and returned to the Union government.

 

75 million pound

What is it? The money Sahara Group advocate, Kapil Sibal, says will be brought to India towards refunding the Rs 24,000 crore to investors.

Why is it important? It amounts to around Rs 615 crore and Sibal has sought permission to transfer the amount to the Sebi-Sahara refund account. Sahara needs to pay this to Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Its promoter, Subrata Roy, was arrested on a court order for failing to refund the dues earlier. Sahara is scrambling to meet the court order of payment of Rs 2,000 by July. It paid Rs 790.18 crore on Monday.

Tell me more: The current amount is a result of Sahara selling its stake in Grosvenor House Hotel in London and refinancing funds related to The Plaza Hotel and Dream Downtown Hotel in New York.

 

Rs 200 crore

What is it? The amount raised by the Pune Municipal Corporation in its bond issue.

Why is it important? This is the biggest municipal bond issue in India. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation was the first to issue such bonds, worth Rs 100 crore, in 2002. With these funds, Pune aims to fund its Smart City plans.

Tell me more: The bonds were rated AA+, promising returns of 7.59%, higher than bonds of state governments.

 

Rs 29.8

What is it? The stock price of Bank of Maharashtra on Monday.

Why is it important? The stock fell 3.4% in a day after news broke of the Reserve Bank of India initiating Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) against it over the weekend. A high level of bad loans (non-performing assets or NPAs) and a negative return on assets led to the move. It is the sixth state-owned bank face PCA, following Indian Overseas Bank (2015), IDBI, UCO Bank, Dena Bank and Central Bank of India (all in 2017).

Tell me more: The lender had net NPA ratio of 11.76% and a negative return on assets at -1.09%, end of FY17.

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