Overstaying our welcome

Rs 43,000 crore

What is it? The value of the Sahara Group’s flagship project, Aamby Valley, in Lonavala, Maharashtra, estimated by the official liquidator appointed by the Bombay High Court for an imminent auction.

Why is it important? The updated value, in recent reports, is a little higher than the range of Rs 37,00039,000 crore previously stipulated. However, it is still much less than the value claimed by the group of late: Rs 1 lakh-crore. The market value is expected to be higher than the estimate.

Tell me more: The group has said there would be no auctions, as it had paid the Rs 1,500-crore cheque it scheduled for June. However, its failure to deposit Rs 5,092.64 crore with the market regulator, Sebi, had led the Supreme Court to order its auction in April. The apex court had attached the property in February to recover the dues, whose main claimant Sebi is now joined by the Income Tax department as well.



What is it? The number of people killed in an explosion in a concert arena, being suspected as a terror attack, in Manchester, UK.

Why is it important? If it is confirmed as an attack by terrorists, this would be the second deadliest in the UK after London’s July-2005train and bus bombings. The 2005 attack had claimed the lives of over 50 people.

Tell me more: The explosion occurred at the end of a concert, as the audience was exiting the building, injuring over 50 people as well.



What is it? Estimated stock of General Motors (GM) vehicles with various dealers in India.

Why is it important? Dealers are unlikely to get any buyers for these vehicles, as the American automaker decided to exit India by December this year. GM’s dealers also warn of 15,000 job losses.

Tell me more: Suzuki Motor Corp, which sells every second car in India, had quit US market in 2012 because of low sales volume.



What is it? The percentage of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that government is planning to allow in multi brand retail in India.

Why is it important? If permitted, this represents a change in the thinking of Bharatiya Janata Party, which has opposed such moves when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power. Domestic retail market is estimated at $ 630 billion market and employs around 5% of labour force.

Tell me more: At present, 51% FDI is allowed in multi brand retail in cities with population of more than a million, and with approval of state governments. Current proposal bans selling of imported products.



What is it? The number of Indians who have overstayed in US, beyond what was permitted under different visa categories.

Why is it important? Indians account for 4.8% of total number of people who have overstayed, estimated at 628,799 at the end of September 2016. Around 1.4 million Indians holding various visas (business, tourism, student, and others) were expected to leave US by September 2016.

Tell me more: 50.43 million people who entered US were expected to depart in 2016, and out of which, 1.47% overstayed. Overstay rate for Indians is 2.1%.

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News In Numbers – July 31

News In Numbers: July 31


7 years

India will become the world’s most populous nation, overtaking China, by 2022. By that time, the two Asian neighbours will have 1.4 billion people each. A report by the United Nations released two years back projected India to overtake China only by 2028. Population projection depends on fertility rates, which in turn is dependent on family planning. Countries that have high fertility rates are the ones that have low usage of modern contraceptive needs and high percentage of people not using any method of contraception.


The percentage of rural households that use firewood and chips for cooking, underlining the stark disparity between urban and rural India. Around two-thirds of urban households use the smokeless, user-friendly and government-subsidised alternative, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Between 1993-94 and 2011-12, the proportion of households using LPG in urban areas has grown faster than in rural areas. As a result, the LPG subsidies have gone more into urban households. Last year, the average subsidy per LPG cylinder was Rs410. After a government appeal, more than 1 million consumers have voluntarily given up LPG subsidies.

Rs203.28 crore

The amount the company that runs online payment processor and marketplace Paytm will pay to the Indian cricket board for title sponsorship rights to all international and domestic matches to be played in India for the next four years. On a per international match basis, that works out to Rs2.42 crore, a 20% increase over the Rs2 crore paid by last title sponsor Micromax. For Paytm’s parent, the sum is 5.5% of the $575 million (about Rs3,600 crore) in funding—at the last valuation of $1.83 billion—committed by China’s Alibaba Group. Paytm is the first e-commerce company to bag these title rights.


The government has allowed 49% foreign portfolio investment in multi-brand retail under the automatic route, in a significant departure from its earlier stand of not permitting external investment. The move is short of what international retailers like Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco are demanding, as these firms won’t be allowed to exert management control under the portfolio route. The Indian retail sector is fragmented with 12-15 million small stores. Together, they hold more than 90% market share in the estimated $534 billion market.


India’s top three software firms — TCS, Infosys and Wipro — added only 50,000 employees in their workforce in the 12 months ended June 2015. Though they hired 150,000 during the same period, attrition was also high. Industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has predicted a 6% hiring increase iin 2015-16 on a base of 3.5 million.



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