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‘Ease Of Doing Business’ In India

 

IndiGo is adding to its fleet. India is getting better at Doing Business says the World Bank. Tata Teleservices paid over a billion to end dispute with the erstwhile partner NTT Docomo.

 

40% 

What is it? The percentage of seats that went empty on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai train route in the three-month period to September, according to the response of the Indian Railways to an RTI query.

Why is it important? This is the route chosen by the Central government to build India’s first bullet train project, with Japan’s help, at a cost of Rs 1,10,000 crore. Critics of the project argue that, instead of investing in one high-speed line, the money can be better spent on multiple projects whose benefits reach more Indians.

Tell me more: For 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of the Indian Railways has been earmarked at Rs 1,31,000 crore, of which, Rs 55,000 crore is due to come from the Central government.

 

141

What is it? The number of aircraft in the fleet of IndiGo, as of September 2017. That’s an increase of 6 aircraft over June 2017 and 23 over September 2016.

Why is it important? At its Q2 results yesterday, India’s number one domestic airline reported a four-fold increase in net profit on a year-on-year basis to Rs 552 crore, partly driven by a 25.7% increase in passenger revenues. This increase comes in the lean season, which shows it is being able to sweat its assets.

Tell me more: The net profit was partly aided by compensation from Pratt & Whitney and Airbus for grounding of planes and delivery delays.

 

34%

What is it? Share of Mauritius in the $43.4 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) that came into India in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is today flying to Mauritius on a three-day visit, during which he will participate in an event of non-resident Indians and invite them to invest in the state. Last month, he hosted a 50-member industry delegation from the US.

Tell me more: The share of the Kanpur regional office of the central bank, which covers UP and Uttarakhand, in FDI inflows in 2016-17 was just 0.2%.

 

30

What is it? The number of positions that India gained in the 2018 Doing Business rankings released by the World Bank yesterday.

Why is it important? This study assesses countries on 10 parameters, and India posted an improved score in each, with the biggest jumps coming in ‘paying taxes’, ‘getting credit’ and ‘resolving insolvency’.

Tell me more: The World Bank survey is based on the situation in New Delhi and Mumbai. A state-level survey of 3,276 manufacturing firms by NITI Aayog-IDFC Institute, released in August, documented improvements but also reported challenges in doing business.

 

$1.27 billion

What is it? The amount that Japan’s NTT Docomo said on Tuesday it has received from Tata Sons as arbitration, awarded last year for its 21.6% stake in Tata Teleservices.

Why is it important? The transfer ends the dispute between the erstwhile joint venture partners and paves the way for the merger of the loss-making consumer-mobile business of the Tata Teleservices with Bharti Airtel.

Tell me more: A stated goal of Tata Sons executive chairman N Chandrasekaran is rationalisation of the group’s businesses, with an approach that pivots around 5-7 groups than 110 companies.

 

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News in Numbers, May 11, 2016: India-Mauritius amended treaty, Philippines ‘Trump’ed…

45%

What is it? The combined share of Mauritius and Singapore in India’s foreign direct investment in 2014-15.

Why is it important? This might reduce after a 1983 treaty between India and Mauritius was amended (which will also apply to India-Singapore treaty) on Tuesday to let India impose capital gains tax on investments starting next year. The amendment is expected to help India fight against black money.

Tell me more: The amended treaty allows India to impose taxes on capital gains relating to investments made from April 1, 2017 at 50% of the domestic rate until March 31, 2019, after which the full rate will be applicable. The phased reduction in capital gains would be applicable to only those companies that have a total expenditure of over Rs 27 lakh in the preceding 12 months.

 

33

What is it? The number of votes Congress has reportedly got in the floor test of the Uttarakhand Assembly on Tuesday against BJP’s 28.

Why is it important? The results would end political uncertainty stretching over the last few weeks in the state where President’s Rule has been imposed. The sacked chief minister Harish Rawat is likely to be back at the helm. lt remains to be seen if Uttarakhand will go in for elections earlier than scheduled (next year) and if Supreme Court will take a view on the imposition of President’s Rule.

Tell me more: The floor test results will be presented to the Supreme Court today, after which they would be made public. The crisis began when nine of Congress MLAs sided with the BJP in a debate over the state budget and after a series of appeals and counter-appeals, they were barred from participating in the floor test on Tuesday.

 

14.8 million

What is it? The number of votes Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has received in Philippine presidential elections, around 39% of the 54 million registered voters, according to a poll monitor accredited by the election commission.

Why is it important? With Duterte likely to be President, the unofficial results reflect Filipinos’ choice of a leader – a tough-talking candidate who promises to fight corruption and criminals but also, one who makes controversial statements and outlines little to show how he would fulfill his promises. He is often compared to Donald Trump. Though Duterte is known for bringing down crime rates in the city of Davao when he was vice-Mayor, he has been linked to alleged illegal killings of criminals.

Tell me more: Duterte’s spokesperson has said he would push for rewriting of the country’s constitution and bring in a federal system of government.

 

2,034

What is it? The number of plant species discovered in 2015, according to a report by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Why is it important? This is the first ever study of the world’s flora. It also revealed that one of every five plants is at the risk of extinction due to reasons including climate change, habitat loss, disease and invasive species. Plants are important for climate regulation besides being sources of food, medicines, fuels and timber. While this underlines the need for better environmental protection measures, the discovery of new plant species provides hope of new sources of food and medicines.

Tell me more: The new plant species discovered include an insect-eating sundew, five new types of onions and a close relative of sweet potato. There are 390,900 plant species known to science.

 

50

What is it? The number of patents filed by Google, Sony and Samsung relating to smart contacts, ocular implants and eye-computing devices since 2001, most in the last four years.

Why is it important? Such patents, though a bit away from commercialisation, have applications in medicine (such as Google’s parent company performing clinical trials to test glucose-monitoring contact lenses for diabetics) and augmented technology (includes devices – to be mounted on your noses – that can communicate wirelessly and a contact lens camera that can perform the main functions of a camera). It is likely that technology, which is an important aspect of a modern human being, might well become an integral part of human bodies.

Tell me more: However, it remains to be seen how privacy concerns brought on by such devices would be tackled.

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