FIPB: A symbolic move


What is it? Percentage of value addition that need to be done in India for goods and services to qualify under the new government procurement policy.

Why is it important? The preferential policy will help domestic manufacturers and service providers as procurement by government, state-run companies and autonomous bodies is estimated at Rs 2 trillion a year. The policy gives preference to local manufacturing, not domestic ownership.

Tell me more: Purchases below Rs 500,000 are exempt from local sourcing norms, and for orders above Rs 50 lakh, local suppliers will be allowed to match the lowest bid if their bid is less than 20% costlier.


28 years

What is it? The number of years after which a ratings agency has downgraded China’s credit rating. Moody’s, a ratings agency, downgraded the Asia’s largest economy to A1 (low credit risk) from Aa3 (very low credit risk), citing mounting debt.

Why is it important? The ratings cut could increase the cost of borrowings for the Chinese government. China’s debt stands at 260% to GDP, as compared to 160% in 2008. However, external debt is only 12% of GDP.

Tell me more: Even after the downgrade, China’s credit rating is five notches higher than India’s rating of Baa3 (moderate credit risk).



What is it? The percentage fall in Reliance Communications’ stock price on Wednesday, following a sell-off in its bonds.

Why is it important? The telecom company is facing investor doubts about being able to repay its loans. Larger competitors are losing money in a fierce competition with a deep-pocketed new entrant (Reliance Industries’ Jio). In the Oct-Dec, 2016 quarter RCom had posted its first consolidated loss leading agencies such as Icra to downgrade its ratings. It has been trying to pare down debt, reportedly at Rs 42,700 crore since last year.

Tell me more: The company came out with a statement saying it had paid half-yearly interest on the 2020 bond and there was no outstanding dues on it.


25 years

What is it? The number of years for which Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is in existence. Government on Wednesday decided to scrap FIPB to ease flow of foreign investment into India.

Why is it important? A symbolic move to show government’s intent to ease investment flows as 11 sectors that still require prior permission would still need approval from respective ministries. Further, foreign investments more than Rs 3,000 crore would still require approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

Tell me more: Between 90% and 95% of foreign investment came via automatic route.



What is it? The number of Benami cases the Income Tax department has attached property for.

Why is it important? The number of cases with provisional attachment of property under the Act, implemented in November, is bound to rise as the IT department has identified 400 Benami transactions till May 23, a jump of 70% since February’s 235 cases. The Benami Act’s section 24 has been invoked to attach properties worth Rs 600 crore for the 240 cases. The Act refers to transactions and property in the name of someone other than the beneficial owner.

Tell me more: Last week, the IT department set up 24 Benami Prohibition Units to tackle the issue.

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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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