News In Numbers – August 25

News In Numbers: August 25


Rs 1,033 crore

The income-tax exemption extended by the government to six national political parties between 2006-07 and 2010-11, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms, a non-profit. This has been cited by ADR, in a public interest litigation, as one of the financial reasons to bring political parties under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which would mandate them to share information about their functioning with the public. Yesterday, in the Supreme Court, the government opposed this. Other financial reasons cited by ADR include allotment of land, accommodation/bunglows at concessional rent, and free airtime on state TV and radio broadcasters.



The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil on the London markets, following yesterday’s sharp fall in global markets, including those in commodities. Brent Crude fell below $45 per barrel for the first time since 2009, and it has deepened what has already been a major decline in global commodity prices, following the weakness in the Chinese economy. Crude oil prices could fall even further as major oil-producing nations such as Iran look to expand production. The fall in crude prices will help keep India’s oil subsidies low: a $1 decline in prices of crude, which is India’s largest import, reduces the country’s import bill by around Rs 6,700 crore.



Share of mobile devices in total searches on Google originating from India. This is a marked increase from the 25% in the second half of 2013, and underscores why the mobile will lead the coming wave of Internet adoption in India. Although smartphone sales in India dipped 7% in the first quarter of 2015, they rebounded smartly in the second quarter, with sales of 26.5 million units, a growth of 44% over the corresponding period of 2014.


Rs 2,700 crore

The cumulative bad loans three public sector banks — Union Bank of India, Corporation Bank and Bank of Maharashtra — are planning to sell to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in the second quarter of 2015-16. Of these three, the gross non-performing asset (NPA) ratio of only Bank of Maharashtra showed a decrease in the June quarter of 2015-16, compared to the last quarter of 2014-15. Union Bank of India tops the list of public sector banks in bad loans, including restructured assets, as a percentage of total advances. In the March quarter of the last financial year, only Rs 5,500 crore of bad loans were on offer for sale to ARCs, against Rs 50,000 crore in all of 2013-14. This is due to a new rule by the central bank asking ARCs to pay more cash upfront for bad loans. Banks have been battling with the problem of rising bad loans, affecting their profitability.


Rs 25,200 crore
The amount the Adani Group is planning to invest in two major projects in Chhattisgarh — a coal to poly- generation project, and a rice bran solvent extraction plant and refinery. The company expects the two projects to generate employment for 10,600 people in the state. The Gujarat-based group recently signed a Rs 7,525-crore project with the Kerala government for development of the Vizhinjam port. The group has had a chequered history in terms of its environmental practices and, recently, it suffered a setback in Australia when a local court overturned the government approval for its $16-billion coal mine project there.
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News In Numbers – August 17

News In Numbers: August 14



Rs 118 crore

The margin by which Reliance Industries was pipped to the post by state-run Indian Oil Corporation for the tag of the most profitable company in the country. This is the second time the Mukesh Ambani-led firm has lost this tag in recent times: in the December quarter of FY15, IT major TCS beat RIL in profitability by Rs 77 crore, ending RIL’s reign of 23 years as the most profitable company in India. The company recorded a 23% decline in turnover in the June quarter of 2015-16 compared to the same period a year ago, mainly due to a fall in crude oil prices. However, its gross refining margin, or the profit it makes from each barrel of oil refined, was at a six-year high during this quarter. The equivalent figure for IOC was slightly higher in the same quarter.



The increase in the amount budgeted by the Central government towards payment of military pensions if the ‘one rank one pension’ norm was implemented today. Currently, retired military personnel get half the salary they last received, as pension. Due to successive pay revisions in the armed forces, this led to military personnel of the same rank, who retired in later years, getting much higher pensions than those who retired earlier. The ‘OROP’ demand is that these pensions should be equal for the same rank, irrespective of the date of retirement. Currently, the government budgets roughly Rs 54,500 crore for defence pensions; the implementation of OROP would lead to a rise in pensions cost of Rs 18,000-20,000 crore annually.



The number of banks in India whose gross non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, are more than 5% of their gross advances. Of these, 15 are public sector banks. Higher NPAs have dragged down the profits of banks: nearly half of the 39 listed banks have reported a decline in profits in the June-ended quarter of FY16. United Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Dhanlaxmi Bank are the banks with the highest NPAs. The gross NPAs for public sector banks rose to 4.45% at the end of March 2015, from 4.1% in March 2014. RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra recently said that banks must develop better strategies to deal with bad loans, and that hiding or postponing the problem was not the solution.



The average rainfall in India was 17% below normal in the first half of August, which could lead to a second successive drought year. The most stressed regions, which are displaying signs of possible droughts, are Marathwada, with a rain deficit of 48% between June 1 and August 16, Karnataka (45%) and Rayalaseema (38%). In Marathwada in Maharashtra, about 200 farmers had committed suicide between January 1 and May 10. In Karnataka, 182 farmers ended their lives in July alone.


Rs 9,000

The minimum salary a highly-skilled, full-time domestic worker could be paid, if the draft of ‘National Policy for Domestic Workers’ is approved by the Union Cabinet. This policy recommends 15 days compulsory paid leave in a year, as well as maternity leave benefits. It also includes mandatory contribution from the employer towards social security of domestic workers. The policy has provisions against sexual harassment and bonded labour too. There were 3,564 cases of alleged violence against domestic workers reported in 2012. is a search engine for public data


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