News in numbers, Nov 4, 2015: Decline in prices of pulses, most top firms miss sales estimates…

Rs 20

What is it? Average decline in prices of pulses across India in the last few days, according to the central government representatives.

Why is it important? Rising price of dal has been a hot topic for weeks now. Last month, the prices of pulses (key ingredients in Indian cooking) went up to as much as Rs 187 per kg. Retail prices of toor dal and urad dal almost doubled in October from a year-ago period. The requirement of pulses in India is 22 million tonnes whereas the production was only up to 17 million tonne. Hoarding by some traders also impacted the rates upwards.

Tell me more: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said with the ongoing market arrivals of urad dal and arrival of the new crop of toor dal in early December, the prices are expected to go down further. The hoarded stock would soon be released into the retail market easing the supply situation further.



What is it? Types of affidavits abolished by the Delhi government on Tuesday. This refers to affidavits required for documents such as marriage certificates, income certificates, ration cards.

Why is it important? It simplifies government-citizen interactions, is lighter on people’s purse, and can potentially bring down corruption. All these documents now require just self-attestation, which means one need not look for MLAs and gazetted officers for affidavits. It remains to be seen how the government would deal with those who provide wrong information in their application forms.

Tell me more: Now, there would be only 40 types of affidavits required, half of which come under the purview of the central government.



What is it? Share of top Indian companies (of 161 analysed) that missed sales forecast in the July-September quarter.

Why is it important? This shows that India still has some distance to cover in terms of economic recovery. Of the 161 companies studied, 108 companies missed the estimates for sales. Two consecutive years of poor monsoon and winter rains damaging crops have stifled rural consumer demand, affecting sales of companies.

Tell me more: The earnings of all 13 companies in the consumer packaged industry did not meet consensus expectations.



What is it? Percentage of amount spent from budget allocated to the Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation during April-September 2015.

Why is it important? Among all the ministries, this ministry, headed by Venkaiah Naidu, has spent the least in percentage terms. The Narendra Modi government has been trying to increase public expenditure in infrastructure projects to spur growth.

Tell me more: The ministry of civil aviation and ministry of drinking water and sanitation are the top two spenders while among the bottom spenders, ministry of labour and ministry of tourism follow Naidu’s ministry.  



What is it? Number of people holding directorship in more than 20 companies, according to data by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of the prevalence of shell companies. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has observed that in many of the shell companies, the directors or shareholders are people of limited financial means such as drivers, cooks and other employees of people who intend to launder money. Holding directorship in more than 20 companies is against the provisions of Companies Act, 2013 as well as the erstwhile Companies Act, 1956.

Tell me more: As many as 345 addresses are shared by at least 20 companies. The SIT has asked the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to proactively detect shell companies.

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