Some good news from our taxman

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News In Numbers: September 13

 Rs 153,000 crore

What is it? Central excise tax collections between April and August this year, registering a growth of 49%.

Why is it important? This is a lead indicator of the health of themanufacturing sector, which accounts for around 15% of Indian economy. Latest GDP numbers showed investments have declined in three months between April and June 2016. Combining these two numbers, we could say demand for manufacturing has picked up but not to an extent where producers think it would outstrip their spare production capacity.

Tell me more: Services sector too did well, reporting a 23% growth in April – August 2016. Services account for more than half of Asia’s third largest economy.

 -35%

What is it? The decline in share price of Cairn India since December 8, 2011, when metals and mining major Vedanta acquired 58.5% in it for $8.67 billion.

Why is it important? Yesterday, shareholders of Cairn India finally gave a nod to merge their company into Vedanta. This ended a multi-year period of uncertainty for Vedanta’s prized entry into the oil and gas sector, which first afoul of the government and then of Cairn shareholders.

Tell me more: During the same period, the BSE Sensex was up 72% and the BSE Energy Index was up 35%.

 2 million tonnes

What is it? India’s planned buffer stock of pulses up from 800,000 tonnes at present.

Why is it important? It will cost the government Rs 18,500 crore, twenty times more than the current allocation of Rs 900 crore in price stabilisation fund. It has to bridge the gap through other internal resources or from the market. The move is aimed at reducing the price of pulses which has shot up on the back of low domestic production in the last two drought ridden years.

Tell me more: Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Monday that if the retail prices of pulses and certain other food commodities don’t come down, the government would invoke Essential Commodities Actto impose a cap on prices.

12,000 cusecs

What is it? The volume of Cauvery water that Karnataka has to release to Tamil Nadu every day till 20th September, per Supreme Court’s modified order. Earlier it had directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs per day till 16 September.

Why is it important? This has led to violent protests in Karnataka, resulting in destruction of property, and one death from police firing.  Bengaluru police imposed Section 144 on 16 areas in the city on Monday, restricting public assembly and movements. While Karnataka’s reservoirs were only 30% short of water, compared to 49% in Tamil Nadu, overall reservoir capacity in Karnataka is a fourth lower than Tamil Nadu’s.

Tell me more: In its modified order, the Supreme Court criticised Karnataka government for citing public unrest as a reason for seeking a change. “If we are allowed to say then we must say that the tone and tenor of the application is absolutely disturbing. Agitation, spontaneity or galvanized riot or any kind of catalystic component can never form the foundation for seeking modification of an order,” it said.

 22.28

What is it? The additional runs scored per test innings by Cheteshwar Pujara, as compared to Rohit Sharma, since India’s tour to Sri Lanka in July 2015.

Why is it important? In the recent past, captain Virat Kohli’s preference to play five bowlers has often resulted in the flamboyant but inconsistent Sharma playing over the dour but effective Pujara. Both were included yesterday in the squad for the tests against New Zealand later this month.

Tell me more: During this period, Pujara has scored 409 runs at an average of 45.44. By comparison, Sharma has scored 278 runs at an average of 23.16. Please share it with your colleagues, friends.

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News in Numbers – September 24, 2015

News In Numbers: September 24

 

4,000

The number of jobs Vedanta Group has slashed in India since January this year due to lower commodity prices and subdued market sentiment. Of these, 67.5% are direct jobs while the rest indirect. The job cuts have been effected in four of its group companies – Vedanta Aluminum (2,000 jobs cut), Balco (1,000), Sesa Goa and Cairn India (450 each). The metals and mining conglomerate has 69,000 direct and indirect employees. The revenue of the group in 2014-15 stood at Rs 73,364 crore, up by 1% from the previous financial year. The group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 13% in 2014-15 year-on-year.

 

20,000

The number of acres of land that Coal India Limited said it will need to acquire in the next 5 years to open new coal mines and expand existing mines, so as to meet its production target of 908 million tons. Further, the capital needed for such expansion – at around 60,000 crore- had risen sharply due to the increased costs of acquiring such land and rehabilitating those who lived on that land. The cost to companies of acquiring land for industry have risen in recent years due both to increased opposition from local populations, and because of legal changes requiring better rehabilitation and resettlement of people from whom land had been.

 

478

Number of people whose statements were recorded by by Justice (Retired) Vishnu Sahai to prepare his report on the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots. Of these 478, 101 were officials and the rest common people. Though the contents of the report are not officially released, a media report indicates that the local members of the Samajwadi Party and the BJP have been indicted. The one-man commission has also accused senior police and administrative officials posted in the district for lapses that lead to the violence. As many as 60 people were killed and around 50,000 were rendered homeless. The report was submitted to the Uttar Pradesh governor on Wednesday.The Special Investigation Team probing the riots had said recently that it had completed the investigation of 503 cases out of 510. Over 1,400 people involved in the riots were arrested.

 

Rs 53.92 crore

The total losses incurred by the Maharashtra State Road Transportation Corporation (MSRTC) between April 2014 and March 2015. Between January 1, 2013 to January 30, it earned Rs 267.9 per commuter; overall, it earned Rs 468.87 crore and transported 1.75 crore people in this period. The Transport Minister blamed illegal operators such as six-seater auto-rickshaws, jeeps and mini-trucks for the losses. He also said due to the condition of the roads, the maintenance costs increase, putting a pressure on MSRTC’s finances. India’s public sector bus transportation network carries 30 billion passengers every day. In 2013, the country’s 38 state road transport undertakings posted a cumulative loss of Rs 6,719.17 crore in 2013. Only two state-run networks made a profit: Odisha State Road Transportation Corporation and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation.

 

90%

The share of the number of people who did not receive any kind of vocational training, according to data released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) from its 2011-12 round on education and vocational training. In other words, only one out of every 10 adults received vocational training – most of them informally. Among people aged 15-59 years, about 2.2% received formal vocational training while 8.6% received non-formal vocational training. This kind of training includes passing down of hereditary skills and on-the-job learning. While ‘driving and motor mechanic work’ was the most preferred kind of training among rural males, ‘computer trades’ was the top pick for urban males. Among rural females, ‘textile related work’ was the most popular while urban females chose ‘computer trades’. The NDA-led government recently launched a Skill India mission where it has set targets to skill 40.2 crore workers by 2022.

 

 

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