News in Numbers, Feb 14, 2017: 😍 Indians 💖 Taxes

60,000

What is it? People who have responded online to Income Tax department’s request for e-verification and explanation of deposits after demonetisation.

Why is it important? As the IT department gears up to mine data gathered after demonetisation with sophisticated data analytics to unearth tax evaders, some from the first wave of online respondents have even agreed to pay tax arrears. The IT department has been trying hard to allay fears of undue persecution by first resorting to online queries for 1.8 million depositors, so that the honest taxpayer can explain deposits without bearing the brunt of an IT notice.

Tell me more: So far 200,000 people who had received the IT clarification request online have logged in. Before demonetisation, the IT department had sent 60,000 notices for large dubious non-Pan card transactions in September even as the – for tax compliance was going on.

 

5

What is it? Number of Grammy awards that British artist Adele won for her album ‘25’ in 2017.

Why is it important? In the world’s most prestigious music awards, the 28-year-old Adele became the first ever to win twice the top three coveted categories of album, record and song of the year, this time for her album and the ballad, “Hello”. She had won in 2012 for her album ‘21’. She also won Best Pop Solo Performance and Pop Vocal Album this year.

Tell me more: She beat Beyonce, who led with nine nominations for her influential album, ‘Lemonade’, on racism and feminism, but acknowledged the artist in her acceptance speech.

 

33,000 feet/10 km

What is it? The depth of the trenches in the Pacific Ocean where organisms were found with high levels of man-made pollutants, according to a report in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Why is it important? Man-made pollution has not spared even the deep sea. Shrimp-like tiny amphipods, Hirondellea gigas, were found in two of the ocean’s deepest trenches that were still 7,000-km apart, to contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), commonly used as electrical insulators and flame retardants.

 

Tell me more: Pollutants were found in every single sample, regardless of depth, regardless of species, according to the report’s lead author. He likened the contamination levels to that of Japan’s Suruga Bay, one of the most polluted northwest Pacific industrial zones. Given the sampled creatures are voracious scavengers feeding off any debris floating down to the depths, the concentration could be from contaminated fish remains and accumulation on sea-beds.

 

3.17%

What is it? Retail inflation in January 2017.

Why is it important? It is the lowest in the last five years, driven primarily by slowing of rise in food prices. Food inflation was 0.53% in January, compared to 1.37% in December. Core inflation (comprising of non-food, non-fuel items) however was the highest since October 2014, which likely prompted the Reserve Bank to maintain its benchmark interest rates in the recent monetary policy review.

Tell me more: Among the states, Jammu and Kashmir recorded the highest annual inflation for the month at 7.01%, followed by Delhi (6.32%) and Himachal Pradesh (5.92%).

 

2

What is it? The number of judges who will be delivering their judgement on the disproportionate wealth case against VK Sasikala, Tamil Nadu’s ruling party AIADMK’s general secretary.

Why is it important? A split verdict by the Supreme Court would extend the political tension in the state, even as fight the between O Panneerselvam the state’s chief minister and VK Sasikala who wants to occupy that chair intensifies. If the court rules against Sasikala, that is, if declines to uphold the earlier High Court acquittal of AIADMK chief, it would strengthen the hands of Panneerselvam, who by many accounts, has the support of voters, but not (at least, explicit) support of party MLAs.

Tell me more: The two judges P C Ghose and Amitava Roy are expected to deliver separate judgements on Tuesday. If there is a split verdict, the case will move to a third judge.

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News in Numbers, Aug 3, 2016: Share of diesel variants in cars, NGOs’ foreign funding…

🚘 Will you buy a diesel car today?

The reasons to buy a diesel car are coming down day after day. The percentage of diesel variants in new cars is just one in four now, from one in two a few years ago. This is just one of the five interesting numbers we picked for you today.

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Have a look at them, and please do share this post to your friends. Here’s the link to subscribe.

26%

What is it? The share of diesel variants in new cars in India as of May 2016

Why is it important? This is down from 52% four years ago. The decline is due to rise in diesel prices on the back of government cutting fuel subsidies. In June 2012, diesel price in Delhi was 41.28 per litre or Rs 26.50 lower than petrol prices. Now it’s Rs 54.3/litre, just Rs 6.84 lower.

Tell me more: In Delhi, diesel car sales have dropped significantly after National Green Tribunal said cars over ten years will be deregistered.

4 million

What is it? The number of tax arrears cases – where the due amount is less than Rs 5000 – likely to be waived off.

Why is it important? An application of the Pareto Principle, which says large effects come from a few causes. Writing these amounts off would help Income Tax department focus on large defaulters where the amount that can be recovered would be larger, and the probability of recovery would be higher.

Tell me more: Of the 4 million cases, 1.8 million cases have arrears of less than Rs 100, and the rest between Rs 101 and Rs 5000.

Rs 22,137 crore

What is it? Foreign contribution received by 3,068 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in 2014-15.

Why is it important? This represents 83% increase in foreign funding for NGOs that received Rs 1 crore or more. In 2013-14, the increase was a modest 17%. As part of the plan to monitor foreign funding of NGOs more closely, Government cancelled registrations of more than 10,000 NGOs that did not file annual returns.

Tell me more: Six states – Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka – received 75% of the total amount in 2014-15.

8.5%

What is it? The drop in share price of Bharat Financial, formerly known as SKS Microfinance, after the company’s president S Dilli Raj was arrested by financial crimes investigators.

Why is it important? The company is among the biggest players in microfinance industry with claimed membership of 7 million, and Dilli Raj was the second-in-command. Bharat Financial claims the arrest was not related to the present company. It was based on a case filed by IDBI Bank against First Leasing Company of India, where Dilli Raj worked till January 2008.  First Leasing’s ex-MD Farouk M Irani was arrested in June this yearunder the same case.

Tell me more: Bharat Financial survived turbulent times when Andhra Pradesh government enacted a tough law to regulate micro lending in 2010. This law effectively meant most lending by microfinance firms couldn’t be collected from borrowers.

6

What is it? The number of hours West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had to wait before her turn came to speak at an inter-state council meeting in Delhi on July 16

Why is it important? West Bengal comes right at the end, if the state names are arranged alphabetically. Ms Banerjee was reportedly prompted by this to rename the state ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangla or Banga’ in Bengali. The change would help it move to fourth position. The state cabinet cleared a proposal to this effect on Tuesday. However, it needs to be cleared by both houses of parliament in Delhi.

Tell me more:  This is the not the first time West Bengal proposed a name change. Earlier, it wanted the to be called Paschim Banga. The central government didn’t approve.

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