News in Numbers, Nov 10, 2016: He paid less, much less…

< $5

What is it? The amount US President-elect Donald Trump likely paid per vote, according to a Reuters analysis campaign finance records and voting data. This is on the assumption that the candidates spent all the money raised.

Why is it important? This is about half of what Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton spent per vote. Until mid-October, Trump’s campaign committee spent around $238.9 million versus Clinton’s $450.6 million. This works out to be around $859,538 per an electoral vote for Trump and $1.97 million per an electoral vote for Clinton (this doesn’t include spending between October 20 and until election day). Trump got about $5 billion worth of free media coverage during the campaign, which is more than twice of what Clinton got, according to data analytics firm mediaQuant.

Tell me more: Interestingly, Trump also spent lesser than the campaigns of President Barack Obama ($630.8 million) and Mitt Romney ($360.7 million).


Rs 2.5 lakh

What is it? The limit above which cash deposits made till December 30 in a bank account will be reported to the tax department by banks.

Why is it important? After having banned old currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 effective Tuesday midnight, the government had announced that one could deposit the old notes in the banks between November 10 and December 30. The authorities would then match the deposits with the income tax returns of the depositors and any mismatch would be treated as a case of tax evasion. The tax amount and a penalty of 200% of the tax payable would be levied. Jewelers are being given instructions to note the PAN numbers of their buyers and the government would take action against those who do not comply with this.

Tell me more: There is a format that has been created to collect information from the depositors and CCTV cameras would be installed to keep track of them. In addition, banks have also appointed nodal officers to deal with situations as and when they arise.


202 crore

What is it? The number of currency notes in Rs 100 denomination that would be fed into ATMs over the next few days.

Why is it important? As many as 12,000 cash vans would reportedly carry these notes and on their return trips, they would carry 1,300 notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations (approximately, worth Rs 8.5 lakh crore). This is probably the largest amount of cash that has ever hit the Indian roads at the same time. However, such a seamless operation is possible only if enough Rs 100 notes are supplied on time to banks, cash in transit operators and ATM service providers.

Tell me more: There is likely to be inconvenience for customers who wish to withdraw Rs 100 notes as most ATMs have cassettes (used to dispense cash) that can hold up to only 2,250 notes at a time. And, again, most of these are fitted with four cassettes, which means these ATMs can dispense about Rs 9 lakh when they are fully filled up.


Rs 1 lakh crore

What is it? The amount the Karnataka government plans to invest in the development of irrigation projects.

Why is it important? The southern state has been facing its second consecutive drought year, which is also the sixth straight year of deficient rainfall. Karnataka, which is involved in river disputes with six states, has been seeking about 28% of its drought-related losses of Rs 12,125.79 crore this year in disaster relief. The number of farmer suicides has increased from 122 in 2014-15 to a record 1,461 in 2015-16, which the government officials attribute to crop losses, drought and pressure from private money lenders.

Tell me more: The new estimates of irrigation spending are double of the earlier outlay and the escalation in costs is due to delays in completion of existing projects and addition of new ones.



What is it? The growth forecast for the euro zone in 2017, according to the European Commission.

Why is it important? This is lower from the 1.8% growth predicted by the body in May thanks to Britain’s exit from the European Union, political uncertainty and weak global trade. Investment is expected to rebound in 2018 and is forecast to grow by 3.3% this year, 3.1% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018.

Tell me more: The UK economy is expected to grow 1.9% in 2016 and this is expected to fall to 1% in 2017, which is almost half of what the Commission had forecast in its previous estimates before the country voted to leave the European Union.

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News in Numbers – January 27

Rs 13,000 crore

What is it:
Black money unearthed by Indian income tax (IT) officials in banks abroad.

Why is it important:  Any progress in identifying and retrieving black money is important for the government which came to power on the promise that it would bring back thousands of crores of money stashed abroad. The leaked Panama Papers, legal and financial records detailing the transactions which featured several Indian names, has increased the public pressure on the government to act fast.

Tell me more: More than Rs 8000 crore of unaccounted income linked to Indian were in HSBC, Geneva, (followed up based on information IT department got from French government back in 2011) and Rs 5000 crore in other foreign accounts (based on documents published by Washington based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)

$1.98 billion

What is it:
Education-related overseas expenditure by Indians in 2015-16


Why is it important: It’s down 20% from $2.47 billion in 2014-15, according to Reserve Bank of India data. The fall is attributed to smaller number of Indian students who went abroad, possibly because of tighter visa rules and better education option here. It could also be that 2014-15 saw an exceptional spike. The expenditure was $1.93 billion two years ago, and $1.63 billion three years ago.


Tell me more: The top destinations for Indian students are United States (103,968), United Kingdom (38,205),  Australia (20,429), New Zealand (6,650) and Canada, according to UNESCO data.


What is it?
Growth in loan portfolio of microfinance institutions during the year ending March 2016


Why is it important:  This came during a year when the client base grew only by 44%, indicating higher ticket size of loans. A reason could be the aggressive expansion of their loan books by the larger players such as Janalakshmi and Bharat Financial Inclusion (formerly SKS) on the back of the change in lending rules by Reserve Bank in 2015. The relaxed rules expanded the customer base by opening doors for customers with higher annual household income and by letting MFIs lend more.
Tell me more: Some experts say such an aggressive growth could be a cause for concern. A few years back, MFIs expanded rapidly in Andhra Pradesh, only to be clamped down by the government worried about people getting into debt trap.

$750 million

What is it:
The amount India would reportedly spend to buy 145 artillery guns from BAE systems

Why is it important: It’s yet another sign that India is stepping up on gas in the defence sector.  The deal could also help boost local industry, as 120 of these 145 M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer artillery guns  would be assembled in India

Tell me more:  In the past some high profile defence deals have kicked up controversies, which in turn led to delays in ordering new equipment.  AK Antony, who was the defence minister under UPA government has often been criticised for sitting on his hands to avoid bad press.


What is it: The number of resignations at UK Labour party’s shadow cabinet

Why is it important? An immediate fallout of Brexit. Highlights the growing opposition to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn over the EU referendum, who has been leading the party since last year. Two labour party MPs have called for a no confidence motion against Corbyn. The crisis in UK’s opposition party follows the criticism that Corbyn was not clear about his message on remaining with EU.

Tell me more: Following the referendum which resulted in favour of those who wanted UK to exit European Union, David Cameron announced his resignation.


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A data interactive of the long-pending and ongoing projects of the Indian Railways

This piece originally appeared on


A report by the national auditor shows the massive funding challenge the Indian Railways is facing in its expansion plans. As of March 2014, the Indian Railways had spent around Rs.92,000 crore on 479 projects, including some dating back to the 1970s and 80s. But due to shoddy contract and project management, costs have more than doubled, and the Railways needs an additional Rs.183,000 crore just to finish these ongoing projects. Here’s a profile of these projects.


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