Food And Fuel Are Getting Pricier


Last month, retail inflation meaning cereal, eggs, vegetable and fruits, clothes, and, fuel, and basically everything that we mostly care about, weighed heavily on our pockets. It surpassed RBI’s expectations and according to RBI’s projection, inflation is likely to stay high for next six months as well. But, did we hear anything about rise in personal incomes, yet?

Well, there’s plenty more in news in numbers, today. Read on.


1-2 years

What is it? The number of years in which Reliance Jio may go for an IPO (initial public offering).

Why is it important? It is another marker of the importance that India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has placed for his telecom venture, which continues to indulge in tariff wars initiated by it over a year ago when it was launched. This comes at a time when incumbents are trying to battle against the newest entrant’s competitive tariffs and their high debt levels even as they continue to witness plunging profits or losses. Jio is likely to improve its financial performance before it goes for the stake sale.

Tell me more: At the end of October, Reliance Jio had 145 million subscribers to be the fourth-largest telecom operator in the country.



What is it? The rate at which India’s annual retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, increased in November from a year ago.

Why is important? This is the fastest pace in 15 months, driven by an increase in fuel and food prices. This has exceeded the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4%. Last week, the central bank had kept key interest rates unchanged due to inflationary concerns and also raised its inflation projection to 4.3-4.7% for the six months ending March 2018.

Tell me more: The government released a separate set of data on Tuesday, which showed that growth in industrial output slowed to 2.2% in October from an upwardly revised 4.14% in September.


37.7 million bales

What is it? India’s estimated cotton production in 2017-18, according to the Cotton Advisory Board. One bale is equivalent to about 170 kg.

Why is it important? Although this would be an increase of about 9% over last year’s 34.5 million bales, it would fall short of the record 40 million bales that industry analysts were expecting. This is due to pink bollworm infestation in India’s key cotton-growing regions of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, and is likely to boost exports of other major cotton exporters such as the US, Brazil and Australia.

Tell me more: In recent years, Indian farmers have switched to Monsanto’s Bt cotton, which increased yields and helped India become the world’s second-largest cotton exporter. However, according to scientists, pink bollworms are developing resistance to the genetically modified seeds.



What is it? The number of trips that a customer of cab-hailing app Uber in the National Capital Region has taken in 2017 so far, or an average of about six trips a day. That’s the maximum number of trips recorded by a customer of Uber India.

Why is it important? It underscores the importance of the Delhi NCR market, which has emerged as the biggest market in India for the cab-hailing app and is one of the sites for the bruising fight between Uber and Ola. Such data-based facts and trivia were released by Uber India, as part of documenting a year gone by. It said that 6 Pm was the busiest hour for its drivers, Friday the most hectic day and August 11 (pre-independence day Friday) the day it recorded the most rides.

Tell me more: Indian customers hailed a Uber cab in 566 cities across 80 nations. Uber also launched a feature that lets customers review their 2017 set to a music video.



What is it? The number of centuries that Chris Gayle has scored in the T20 format, his latest effort helping the Rangpur Riders win the Bangladesh Premier League on Tuesday.

Why is it important? Gayle is the first batsman to reach 20 centuries in the T20 format. He is also leaps ahead of other batsmen in the centurion list. The next best is 7 centuries (Michael Klinger, Luke Wright and Brendon McCullum). The best Indian in the list is Virat Kohli, with 4 centuries.

Tell me more: Chris Gayle, the modern-day archetype of a free-agent cricketer, has played 320 T20 matches, across 22 teams. He called Tuesday’s knock—in which he racked up 146 not out in 69 balls, including 18 sixes—as one of his top five knocks.


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Offer over, Jio steeper

Rs 4.75

What is it? The revised cost of one gigabyte (GB) of data that Reliance Jio users will pay for a 84-GB pre-paid plan.

Why is it important? The revised tariff is nearly 30% higher. While earlier, Jio customers paid Rs 309 for 84 GB (Rs 3.67 a GB), they will now have to pay Rs 399. The base tariff of Rs 309 will now fetch 56 GB in pre-paid plans, the more widely used plans in this country.

Tell me more: Reliance Jio, the telecom business of Reliance Industries, which shook up the industry with low priced-data, raised its tariffs. However, the revised Jio tariffs are still low delaying recovery of the industry.



What is it? The number of districts across seven states where the government launched an injectable contraceptive on Tuesday.

Why is it important? These are the districts where total fertility rates (TFR) are more than 3, and account for half of infant deaths. Southern and northern parts of India have divergent TFR, with birth rates in southern states much lower than national TFR of 2.2. The total unmet need for family planning is 12.9% and an additional contraceptive method to an existing basket of choices has resulted in an increase of modern contraceptives by 8-12%.

Tell me more: Some activists have expressed their concerns over the introduction of this contraceptive, which is said to cause a loss in bone density, besides other side effects such as menstrual irregularity and weight gain. However, the government has said the loss in bone density is temporary and reversible.



What is it? Gaza’s real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2016 compared to $1,096 in 2006, according to a report by the United Nations.

Why is it important? The living conditions of the nearly 2 million people in the Palestinian territory may be deteriorating faster than predicted by the international body in 2012, which had said that the enclave would be unlivable by 2020. The Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas seized power from Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in 2007 and Israel sought to isolate the group by imposing restrictions on the movements of people and goods in and out of the strip.

Tell me more: The percentage of energy demands met and safe drinking water has dropped, while unemployment has increased in the last five years.


Rs 3.84 lakh crore

What is it? The Uttar Pradesh state budget announced on Tuesday for 2017-18.

Why is it important? This is the budget which includes the Rs 36,000-crore farm loan waiver promised by the BJP-led government when it came to power. The budget is 10.9% larger than last fiscal’s.

Tell me more: The government plans to contain fiscal deficit at 2.97% for 2017-18.



What is it? The stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance that is expected to be sold in its initial public offering (IPO) by its founders.

Why is it important? If successful, ICICI Lombard will be India’s first IPO by a general insurance company. Existing shareholders, ICICI Bank and Fairfax Financial Holdings, are expected to raise Rs Rs 5,000 crore through this stake sale. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, the life insurance venture, raised Rs 6,000 crore by selling shares last year.

Tell me more: ICICI Bank has 63% and Fairfax, headed by Prem Watsa, 22% stake in ICICI Lombard. Fairfax had sold 12.18% in the insurer in May to investors.

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Jio: Short-lived low costs?


What is it? The number of terrorists killed in Jammu & Kashmir till June 12 this year, as compared to 54 in corresponding period last year.

Why is it important? This could be due to more locals joining the terrorist groups, and also higher success of counter-terrorism activities underway in the valley.

Tell me more: Today is the first death anniversary of Burhan Wani, a self-styled commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. His death sparked huge protests with 820 incidents of stone-pelting reported in July last year.



Rs 1,680 crore

What is it? The fresh investment by Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world, in its Indian business, Amazon Seller Services.

Why is it important? The investment takes Amazon’s total India capital to over Rs 13,800 crore or over $2 billion since launch in June, 2013. It is not only a part of Amazon’s commitment to spend $5 billion in India, but also makes it the second largest global investor to put money on India’s digital economy. The Japanese SoftBank leads with around $4 billion in various investments.

Tell me more: The last infusion by Amazon was in December, 2016 of Rs 2,010 crore.



Rs 44,800 crore

What is it? The revenue Reliance Industries’ Jio, the telecom venture, needs to earn to break even in earnings with profit before tax (PBT), according to Kotak Institutional Equities.

Why is it important? The requirement, based on FY17 expenditure, debt and asset base, is not much lower than established competition, belying its reported low-cost model. Much larger competition in subscribers and revenues, Bharti Airtel, needs around Rs 49,000 crore while Idea Cellular needs Rs 37,000 crore, based on FY17 spending and regulatory fees.

Tell me more: The revenue required to break even at the Ebitda level is, however, lower than competition. While Bharti Airtel needs around Rs 31,000 crore and Idea Cellular Rs 24,000 crore to break even at the Ebitda level, Jio needs Rs 22,400 crore.



Rs 43,000 crore

What is it? The total revenue earned by the Indian Railways in April-June, this year.

Why is it important? This is 11% higher when compared to corresponding revenue numbers last year. Both passenger and freight earnings increased. While passenger earnings rose from Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 14,000 crore in this period due to the dynamic pricing in premium trains, freight income rose from Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 28,000 crore.

Tell me more: The IR has set Rs 1.89 lakh-crore as its FY18 revenue target..




What is it? June’s Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index, a private survey.

Why is it important? Unlike the manufacturing index, services sectors fared better as the index rose to an eight-month high. New business, recruiting and higher selling prices led to the uplift.

Tell me more: The index rose from 52.2 in May. A value of 50 and above means expansion signalling an increase in services activity.

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News in Numbers, Mar 24, 2017: Be afraid. Do something. 🏥

$6.5 billion

What is it? Snapdeal’s last known valuation, done in 2016.

Why is it important? The valuation, at which the e-commerce company raised $200 million funding in February, 2016, is likely to take a hit. Since then, it has been dogged by failed funding search and sale, as its sales trail its main competitors in India. A report two days back, later refuted by the company, put tentative sale price at $1.5-1.8 billion, almost at a third. Another report yesterday said Snapdeal was unable to rope in investors such as Alibaba Group and existing investor Softbank for fresh funding.

Tell me more: Snapdeal’s made a loss of Rs 29.6 billion rupees in FY16.


~Rs 1,600 crore

What is it? The estimated price Bharti Airtel will pay for Tikona Digital Networks Pvt. Ltd’s 4G network.

Why is it important? The deal, giving Bharti Airtel access to Tikona’s broadband wireless spectrum and 350 cellular sites in five circles, will expand the former’s reach, particularly in cities where it lacks strong presence in 4G services. It has already lined up high-speed 4G services for these circles, even as it locks horns with Reliance Jio.

Tell me more: The overall deal value might be a little more at Rs 1,700 crore s Bharti Airtel as to take on debt on Tikona’s books. Recently, Airtel also announced acquisition of Norway’s Telenor’s India operations, with 44 million subscribers.


13 degrees

What is it? The rise in the Celsius scale in Delhi in the span of 10 days.

Why is it important? In line with warnings of extreme climate and unpredictable weather changes due to global warming, spring bid adieu to the capital city quicker than usual. Thursday’s temperature of 37.4 degree-C was seven degrees above normal and the highest in March since 2010.

Tell me more: The heat onset is despite the recent spate of rain and snow in the hills. The capital is now buffeted by hot summer’s wind patterns, says Ravinder Vishen, head of IMD’s Regional Weather Forecasting Centre.


$70 million

What is it? The amount raised by Soundcloud, a music streaming firm based in Berlin.

Why is it important? It came in form of debt, while most tech startups tend to go for equity. There is an intense debate on which form of capital is better for a high growth company (Soundcloud said it wants to grow 2.5 times in 2017). Debt could be useful for a company if it believes it is not getting a fair valuation from equity investors, but there are risks, as one of the early backers of Soundcloud argued in a post recently.

Tell me more: Soundcloud, which faces increasing competition from Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify, tried to raise $100 million in equity recently, but didn’t succeed.



What is it? India’s share in global tuberculosis cases, according to a new study by  Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy

Why is it important? India has the most number of TB cases in the world. Indian government’s ability to counter the crisis has come into question. An added level of danger and complexity is the growing number of multi-drug resistant TB cases. In Mumbai such cases grew by 21% in 2015-16.

Tell me more: Multi-drug resistant TB tends to be fatal, with 40% of the patients succumbing to the disease. India lacks tools that can detect such cases.

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