News in Numbers, July 22, 2016: IT department cracks the whip, water in India’s reservoirs…

7 lakh

What is it? The number of letters Income Tax Department is to send seeking information on high value transactions where the permanent account numbers (PAN) were not disclosed.

Why is it important? Shows the government’s continued efforts in tracking down tax evaders and cracking its whip on the black money problem. In the last two years, the government has detected undisclosed income of Rs 43,829 crore, which is around 1.5% of the estimated black money in the country (according to a research firm).

Tell me more: In the letters, the parties are being sent a unique identification number which can be used to provide their PAN online without getting in touch with the tax authorities directly. They are being asked to confirm whether or not the transactions mentioned have been undertaken by them. The letters seek to get information about 14 lakh high-value transactions.

 

54.42 billion cubic metres

What is it? The water available in India’s 91 major reservoirs as of yesterday, according to Central Water Commission.

Why is it important? Though this is slightly less than the levels recorded at the same time last year, this is higher than the 10-year average of 52.05 billion cubic metres. The current data presents a picture of relief as nearly a month ago, water levels in the major reservoirs were less than half the present levels. Nearly 90% of India had received normal to excess rainfall between June and the first week of this month, which is likely to boost crop sowing prospects, after two successive years of drought.

Tell me more: As many as 35 reservoirs have water higher than last year’s levels while storage in 36 of them have water higher than the 10-year average levels.

 

70,807

What is it? The number of habitations in India that do not have safe drinking water.

Why is it important? Water in these areas are contaminated with fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals, which have adverse health effects and according to a 2013 report, 37.7 million Indians were estimated to be affected by water-borne diseases every year. Besides, there are 3 lakh rural habitations that have less than the prescribed norm of 40 litres per capita per day of safe drinking water, which is reportedly due to delay in the implementation of around 3,000 water schemes, some of which are 5-10 years old.

Tell me more: Rajasthan has the highest number of water-contaminated habitations (20,895) followed by Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar. The government has set a target of providing safe drinking water in 17 lakh habitations by 2022.

 

3

What is it? The number of months within which the government will act upon prosecution requests from private citizens, according to new rules being proposed by the Indian government.

Why is it important? If implemented, this would help improve accountability and speed by those in power – and this is the first time such rules are being proposed by the government. It says it has been receiving requests from private citizens seeking sanction for prosecuting IAS officers but those are without any proper proposal or supporting documents.

Tell me more: The government has sent a circular detailing the proposed guidelines to all states and central ministries seeking their comments. The proposed rules state that an officer would be given a chance to explain his side of the story or defend himself in case prima facie evidence is found against him by the state or central government. Upon the receipt of the complaint, it would be sent to the department where the officer is posted and a report would be sought by the Department of Personnel and Training. Upon receiving the report, the central government will dispose off the complaint within three months.

 

2,765

What is it? The number of people who have been made to plant saplings for traffic violations in Mahbubnagar district in Telangana in nearly three weeks.

Why is it important? The aim is to reduce the number of accidents in the district, which has 150 accident-prone zones, and to help the Telangana government’s initiative to increase its green cover to 33% of the state’s total geographical area from the current 24%. The plantation of saplings is over and above the fines and punishment the violators would face.

Tell me more: The police in Mahbubnagar district is aiming to plant a million saplings in police stations, residential quarters, office buildings and the district police office complex.

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News in numbers, Apr 15, 2016: VC & PE investments in startups, India’s remittances…

$1.15 billion

What is it? Venture capital and private equity investments in Indian startups in the January-March quarter of 2016.

Why is it important? This is the second consecutive fall in startup investments, indicating continued investor caution. The number of startup deals fell by 4% to 116 possibly on concerns over startups’ business models, valuation and economic slowdown.

Tell me more: The data by KPMG and CB Insights show that startups received investments worth $2.9 billion in the July-September quarter of 2015, which declined by 48% to $1.5 billion in the three months to December last year.

$68.9 billion

What is it? The remittances to India in 2015, according to World Bank.

Why is it important? They declined by nearly $1 billion (2.1%) from 2014, the first drop since 2009 during global financial crisis. Last year’s decline came on the back of low oil prices in the Middle Eastern countries, a major remittance-generating source for India. However, India retained its top spot in inward remittances.

Tell me more: After India, China and Philippines topped the list of remittance-receiving countries with $64 billion and $28 billion respectively. Mexico with $25 billion and Nigeria with $21 billion in remittances came in at the fourth and fifth positions respectively.

130

What is it? The number of people who died due to heatwaves this year.

Why is it important? It might get worse, with the weather department warning eight states of facing heatwave conditions in the next two days. Telengana and Andhra Pradesh, which had reported over 2,000 deaths due to heatwave conditions last year, are likely to see maximum temperatures increasing by 1-2 degree celsius in the next 2-3 days.

Tell me more: As many as 100 people have died due to heatwave conditions in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana and 30 in Odisha. Maximum temperatures are expected to increase by 2-4 degree Celsius over the north-western plains, 2-3 degree Celsius over central India and 1-2 degree Celsius over west India.

68%

What is it? The share of companies in which investors got better returns (on the shares allotted to them during the IPO) on the day of the listing rather compared to a year later. This corresponds to 198 companies of 292 analysed.

Why is it important? As many as 71 stocks closed lower on the listing day and declined further in one year from listing. Indicates that promoters tend to price their public issues with little or no room for growth, and might reduce appetite for IPOs.

Tell me more: Over 30% of the companies analysed eroded more than 50% of their offer price within one year of listing. The study included IPOs launched in the last 10 years and have completed at least a year since listing.

3 lakh

What is it? The number of rural habitations, nearly a fifth of the total, that have less than the prescribed norm of 40 litres per capita per day of safe drinking water.

Why is it important? The primary reason for lack of adequate supply of safe water is reportedly due to delay in over 3,000 drinking water schemes, some of them which are over 5-10 years old.

Tell me more: There are 66,093 rural habitations where drinking water is contaminated. According to World Bank estimates, 21% of communicable diseases are related to unsafe water and diarrhoea alone causes over 1,600 deaths everyday.

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