News in Numbers – September 16
Why is it important? India is one of the fastest-growing markets in world aviation. The creation of new airport pairs, as is expected to happen with the Chandigarh airport in the international segment over time, is a big lever of passenger growth.
Tell me more: In 2013-14, the Chandigarh airport serviced 9,690 domestic flights and 10.50 lakh passengers. In terms of flights serviced, it was the sixth busiest in North India, after New Delhi Jaipur, Lucknow, Srinagar and Amritsar.
$ 21.51 billion
What is it? India’s exports in August, down 0.3% from August 2015. Imports declined by 14%, helping India to narrow the trade deficit.
Why is it important? The headline number masks the relatively better performance of the top 5 export groups, barring petroleum products. Non-petroleum exports increased by 1.79% in August 2016.
Tell me more: Imports declined sharply because of 78% dip in gold imports, partly aided by sharp dip in gold prices. Non-oil and non-gold imports- a proxy economic indicator – declined by 1.52%.
What is it? The drop in share price of Reliance Communications yesterday, a day after it announced the merger of its mobile wireless business with a smaller company, Aircel.
Why is it important? Along with sharing additional details on the merger, Reliance yesterday said it planned to raise $1 billion from outside investors. Meanwhile, rating agency Moody’s placed the company’s credit rating under “review for downgrade”.
Tell me more: Over much of its listing, the Reliance Communications stock has been a value destroyer: overall, it has depreciated 84% since debuting in March 2006.
22 million tonne
What is it? The expected production of pulses this year, up 33% from last year.
Why is it important? Pulses shortage and the resultant rise in prices have been among the biggest concerns of the government and policy makers over the last few months. The government has more than doubled its buffer stock of pulses, and warned that it would invoke essential commodities act to impose price control. Higher production would alleviate those concerns.
Tell me more: The rise in pulses production (and food grains in general) is expected on the back of normal monsoon this season, coming after two years of drought. The area under food grain cultivation has gone up by 5.3 million hectare.
What is it? The number of lives lost to Dengue and Chikungunya in Delhi this year
Why is it important? Over 2800 people have been affected by these two diseases in the capital alone, raising questions about government’s ability to manage public health. Across the country, the number of cases has crossed 12,000. Both viral diseases cause fatigue, fever and body pain, and can last a couple of weeks. Complications can lead to death.
Tell me more: Both diseases have been causing concern to public health officials across the world. There is no specific treatment for either, and vaccines have caused their own problems. According to WHO, there are 390 million dengue infections per year, and the year 2016 saw five fold increase in reported Chikungunya cases