News in Numbers, Mar 02, 2017: Hiring to strain finances 💰😓

Rs 295-299

What is it? The price band of shares of Avenue Supermarts, owner of the profitable supermarket chain, D-Mart, that would be sold in its initial public offering starting March 8.

Why is it important? The upcoming IPO, worth Rs 1,870 crore, has evinced interest as it is one of the few organised retail chains, especially in grocery segment, which makes a profit. In 2015-16, it made a profit of Rs 321 crore on a revenue of Rs 8,605 crore.

Tell me more: While Maharashtra and Gujarat contribute over 81% of its revenue, D-Mart also has footprint in Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.



What is it? The sales growth range of passenger cars across seven manufacturers in February, 2017.

Why is it important? Passenger car sales are picking up after being hit in the last two months of calendar 2016, following the cash crunch. A measure of consumer discretionary spending, the growth was fuelled by higher shipments to dealers and new models for some manufacturers.

Tell me more: Growth for Ford India was the highest at 52%, albeit on a small base of 8,338 cars. Maruti Suzuki, selling 120,735 cars, managed to grow in double-digits over 2016. Mahindra and Mahindra was the only company to report a decline of 13% owing to demonetisation.


56.67 million

What is it? The number of Indians suffering from depression, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Why is it important? India has only 0.3 psychiatrists per 100,000 population, whereas incidence of depression is 4.5% of the population. Lack of mental health facilities, and concentration of doctors and hospitals in urban areas, mean a large number of people with mental health issues will go untreated for a long time.

Tell me more: The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015, according to the ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders — Global Health Estimates’ report.


2.8 lakh

What is it? The number of hiring by central government in next financial year starting April 2017.

Why is it important? This will bloat government expenses and potentially suck money away from developmental schemes, unless tax revenues match the increased outgo. Salaries (excluding defence personnel) and pension payment totals Rs 317,529 lakh crore, or 25% of tax collections in 2017-18.

Tell me more: Current size of central government employees is 3.53 million.


Rs 2,500 crore

What is it? The amount of black money declared so far under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). The last date under this scheme is March 31, 2017.

Why is it important? Tax authorities have identified 1.8 million taxpayers who have deposited more than Rs 5 lakh in cash during the two months’ period in November and December when old high value notes were replaced with new ones. Tepid response to the scheme could be an indicator these taxpayers are confident of explaining their sources of income, or waiting till the end of this month.

Tell me more: A flat tax rate of 50% would be levied on income declared under the PMGKY, and another 25% will be parked in an interest-free deposit for four years.

Read More

News in Numbers, Nov 29, 2016: More weapons to fight the war…


What is it? The proposed tax, penalty and surcharge to be levied on black money hoarders who do not declare unaccounted wealth and are caught by the authorities.

Why is it important? This is one of the provisions of the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, introduced in the Lok Sabha today by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. This bill seeks to plug loopholes in India’s income tax laws that may have been used to conceal money and avoid paying taxes. Indicates that the government is taking additional steps after the withdrawal of old currency notes to tackle the black money problem in the country; one of the criticisms against the demonetisation move was that as a standalone measure it would be ineffective.

Tell me more: Voluntary cash deposits above a certain threshold are to attract a 50% tax. The bill also introduced ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana’ where after taxes, penalty and cess, 25% of the money declared would be deposited in a deposit scheme under this plan. This money would then be used for livelihood, infrastructure, primary health, irrigation, housing and construction of toilets, among other objectives.


What is it? India’s economic growth rate in the first half of 2016-17, according to commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

Why is it important? This implies a growth rate of 7.1% for the second quarter of this fiscal, the figures of which are to be released this Thursday. This is slower the 7.2% recorded in the April-September period of 2015-16 and 7.4% in the first half of 2014-15 and comes at a time when the global economic growth rate has slowed down. It remains to be seen if India is able to sustain a similar momentum in economic growth in the second half of the fiscal, given that some global banks and ratings agencies have downgraded India’s estimated GDP rate for the current year on account of demonetisation in the short-term.

Tell me more: India’s GDP growth rate was 7.2% in 2014-15 and 7.6% in 2015-16.



What is it? The number of alleged Al-Qaeda members arrested in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) on Monday.

Why is it important? These three suspects – a painter, an employee at a software firm and the owner of a chicken broiler shop – have allegedly been involved in bombing at court complexes at places including Mysore, Chittoor, Kollam, Nellore and Malapuram. The three of them were reportedly planning to attack 22 top leaders in the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and had also, allegedly threatened embassies of different countries in India.

Tell me more: These arrests were made by the National Intelligence Agency in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu and Telangana police. The authorities have apprehended a fourth suspect and are on the lookout for two others, also suspected to be Al-Qaeda operatives.


Rs 8.45 lakh crore

What is it? The amount deposited (Rs 8.11 lakh crore) and exchanged (Rs 33,948 crore) between November 10-27 after the government announced that old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 would cease to be legal tender from November 9.

Why is it important? This compares with about Rs 5 lakh crore deposited until November 20 and is about 60% of the total demonetised currency (Rs 14 lakh crore). One way to measure how successful this move has been would be to see how much of the demonetised currency does not return to the banking system. The deadline for depositing old currency notes is December 30.

Tell me more: The government used the services of the Indian Air Force from November 19, reportedly for the first time, which transported 160 tonnes of new currency notes from the four printing presses to different parts of the country to tackle cash shortage.


$100 million

What is it? The amount invested by Australian-American media baron Rupert Murdoch in a California-based health technology company, Theranos, recently.

Why is it important? This investment happened just before the Wall Street Journal wrote a series of articles on how Theranos’ blood testing methods were allegedly suspect, putting in danger tens of individuals for failing to reveal potential inaccuracies. Murdoch is executive chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox Inc. News Corp is the parent company of the Wall Street Journal. Theranos, which is under criminal investigation, is now valued at $800 million, down from $9 billion in 2014, according to Forbes. Theranos has raised an estimated $725 million by selling shares to investors, according to VC Experts Inc.

Tell me more: Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, made it to the Forbes’ list in 2014 as the “first” youngest self-made female billionaire with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion, which has now been revised to nothing.

Read More