News in Numbers, August 9, 2016: Impact of diesel ban on Toyota, single-teacher schools…

Rs 1,700 crore

What is it? The total business Toyota Kirloskar Motors claims it has lost due to the ban on diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR region since last December.

Why is it important? The company says it has lost business of around 8,500 units of Innova and the Fortuner and that the ban has halted the company’s future investments in the country. The Supreme Court had banned the registration of 2,000 cc and above diesel vehicles in Delhi on December 2016 as a measure to curb the high pollution levels in the city. This comes at a time when the government is aggressively trying to promote its ‘Make in India’ campaign, which is aimed at attracting foreign companies to help convert the country into a global design and manufacturing hub.

Tell me more: Mercedes-Benz, another auto firm hit by this ban, has moved the Supreme Court and has asked for it to be lifted. It has said it is ready to pay 1% environmental cess on the sale of diesel cars.

 

6.5%

What is it? The stake the promoters of Max Financial would get in the merged entity approved by the boards of HDFC Life Insurance Company and Max Life Insurance Company in addition to a Rs 850 crore non-compete fee, subject to approval of public shareholders.

Why is it important? With this deal, the merged entity would have Rs 1.1 lakh crore in assets and overtake ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company and become India’s largest private life insurer and the second biggest life insurer after Life Insurance Corporation of India. After the merger, the entity would have a 10.8% market share. This could also signal the beginning of consolidation in the insurance sector.

Tell me more: The merger involves a three-step process: Max Life would be merged with its parent Max Financial Services, after which the insurance unit would be demerged from this entity to be combined with HDFC Life and the non-insurance businesses of Max Financial would be merged with group company Max India.

 

Rs 5,000 crore

What is it? The additional amount India’s flagship rural employment guarantee scheme would get in 2016-17, taking the total to Rs 43,500 crore.

Why is it important? This is likely to aid many in the rural areas affected by two consecutive years of drought in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Ten states had declared drought last year. However, since the current year is expected to be an above-normal monsoon one, there are concerns about inflationary pressures due to an increase in the budget. The increased budget overlay reportedly lays to rest doubts about whether the scheme would be continued or not.

Tell me more: Under the scheme, jobs to 48.2 million families were provided in 2015-16.

 

105,630

What is it? The number of government elementary and secondary schools in India which are run by a single teacher, according to a report tabled in the Parliament on Monday.

Why is it important? Indicates the extent of paucity of teachers in the country, especially in state-run schools and partially explains the clamour for private ones, despite the huge difference in fees. According to the Right to Education rules, the recommended student-teacher ratio is 30:1 for primary classes and 35:1 for upper primary classes.

Tell me more: Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of single-teacher schools followed by Uttar Pradesh and together, these two states account for a third of such schools. The next three worst states in this regard – Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand – account for nearly 29% of single-teacher schools.

 

$52.7 billion

What is it? India’s trade deficit with China in 2015-16.

Why is it important? The deficit might widen further if India cuts its tariff on Chinese imports in line with tariff reductions for other members in Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). So far, India has been favouring a three-tier system for tariff reductions – offering more cuts to some countries, and less to others including China. Now, it has changed its approach. This is likely to benefit China more with whom India does not have a free trade agreement (FTA). It remains to be seen what India is offered in return for agreeing to such a deal.

Tell me more: The RCEP is a proposed FTA between the 10 members of the Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN and the six countries with which the ASEAN has existing FTAs.

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News in Numbers, Dec 17, 2015: Ban on diesel vehicles’ registration, US Fed rate hike

 

15%

 

What is it? Delhi’s share in Mercedes-Benz’s sales.

 

Why is it important? Supreme Court has banned registration of new diesel engines above 2000cc in Delhi, a big market for the luxury car maker, until March 31. The initiative is to curb alarming levels of pollution in Delhi. The ban might favour its rivals, since most of the diesel models of BMW, Audi and Volvo have engines below 2,000 cc. Mercedes-Benz has said that this order “will severely impact” their expansion plans and future investments already in place for the Indian market.

 

Tell me more: Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicle maker, has said that this order would affect 2% of its monthly sales.

 

400

 

What is it? Number of start-ups Karnataka government hopes to help build with the help of its newly launched warehouse, launched in partnership with industry body Nasscom.

 

Why is it important? This is the second such warehouse by the state government and is on a bigger scale than the first, which incubated 64 start-ups. In the first warehouse, a quarter of the 64 start-ups have raised combined funds of Rs 600 crore. Bangalore ranks 15th in terms of best start-up ecosystems globally, according to a report by Silicon Valley-based start-up benchmarking firm and such measures are likely to advance its standing as a hub for start-ups in India as well as worldwide.

 

Tell me more: The state government recently launched a start-up policy with the view to aid the growth of 20,000 tech start-ups and generating 6 lakh direct and 12 lakh indirect jobs.

 

0.25-0.5%

 

What is it? United States benchmark interest rate, set by US Federal Reserve.

 

Why is it important? That’s 0.25% hike. It affects financial markets globally and therefore, is closely watched. As for India, this hike could mean investors may pull out their money from emerging markets like India to invest in the US in anticipation of higher returns and it remains to be seen how they react to the hike. Foreign institutional investors have pulled out $2.5 billion from Indian markets since November in anticipation of the hike. This, in turn, could weaken the rupee, making imports costlier and negatively impacting inflation in India.

 

Tell me more: This is the first time in nearly a decade that the US has gone for a hike in interest rates after keeping it around zero since the 2008 financial crisis. For the US, this is a sign of economic recovery.

 

0.59 hectares

 

What is it? The average landholding per rural household as of 2013, according to data from the National Sample Survey Office.

 

Why is it important? This has almost halved from 1.01 in 1992. A farm household needs to have at least 1 hectare of land to earn enough to fulfill its consumption expenditure. A farm household with 0.01-0.4 hectares of land earns an income of Rs 4,152 per month but its monthly consumption expenditure amounts to Rs 5,401. Also, farm households with less than 1 hectare account for over two-thirds of agricultural households that are indebted, with the debt levels decreasing with increase in landholding.

 

Tell me more: Every four out of five rural household have landholdings of less than one hectare and over 7% own more than two hectares.

 

€26 million

 

What is it? Amount Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has earned by launching six satellites for Singapore on Wednesday.

 

Why is it important? Underlines the commercial potential of India’s space programme. So far, India has earned around $36.7 million (at today’s exchange rate) from the launch of foreign satellites while around $74 million have been committed for those in the pipeline. It’s also yet another confirmation of the robustness of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29), which recorded its 32nd flight.

 

Tell me more: With Wednesday’s launch, ISRO has launched 57 satellites for 20 countries.

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