News in numbers, Oct 9, 2015: Bombay HC rules in favour of Vodafone, right to privacy in India…

 

Rs 8,500 crore

What is it? The amount by which Vodafone India’s tax liability has come down, thanks to a Bombay High Court ruling. This relates to sale of its call centre business to Hutchison and assignment of call options (sale of assets at an agreed price) to Vodafone International – and concerns around transfer pricing. (Transfer pricing is setting of price of goods and services sold between two divisions/legal entities under the same group.)

Why is it important? This could spell good news for other companies such as IBM Corp., Royal Dutch Plc and Nokia Oyj that are fighting transfer-pricing cases in India. It could even set a new precedent or result in clearer tax policies and regulations, something that foreign investors have been seeking for.

Tell me more: This is just one of the cases Vodafone battling with the Indian tax authorities. Last year, the Bombay High Court had ruled in favour of Vodafone’s Indian unit in a Rs 3,200-crore dispute where the tax department had accused the company of under-pricing shares in a rights issue to its parent firm. Vodafone, which bought Hutchison’s business in 2007, has also been held liable for capital tax gains on that deal. That is yet to be resolved.

 

~ 100,000

What is it? The number of people Accenture is looking to hire in September 2015 – August 2016.

Why is it important? This would help Accenture maintain its lead position over TCS, which is considered to be an aggressive recruiter. Recently, the company which has around 336,000 people, shot past TCS (319,656) in headcount. And, TCS is planning to hire about 65,000 people in the current financial year (April 2015 – March 2016).

Tell me more: The company is planning to spend about $1 billion on acquisitions in 2015-16. It is planning to focus on three ‘new’ technologies – digital, cloud and cyber security, which contribute to a third of its overall revenue.  

 

90%

What is it? The upper limit of the percentage of house price that RBI allows banks to lend for loans of up to Rs 30 lakh.  

Why is it important? The limit on loan value is up 50% from Rs 20 lakh earlier. This reflects rising house prices – and would help more people to consider buying a property. Might help revive real estate sector, which has been faced with high unsold inventory and tepid sales.

Tell me more: The central bank has also relaxed the risk weights (the capital to be set aside by banks) for individual housing loans.

 

61 years

What is it? The number of years since Supreme Court said right to privacy is not fundamental.

Why is it important? It might change now. The Supreme Court on Thursday has set up a Constitution Bench to re-look at the issue. Making it a fundamental right will warrant changes in certain government laws/policies. This question has sprung up now because of the Aadhaar card enrolment process, which involves parting with information such as fingerprints and iris signatures.

Tell me more: A petitioner against the Aadhaar scheme has raised concerns about the government owning personal data of individual citizens, which could be misused for ill-gains.

 

55.56 – 157.14%

What is it? The increase in prices of some vegetables such as pointed gourd, pumpkin, bitter gourd and brinjal in three weeks (between September 16 and October 8).

Why is it important? Overall, though wholesale and retail inflation have been falling, the increase in food prices, especially those of vegetables and pulses is worrying. In August, vegetable prices increased by 8.5% from July prices while pulses and related products saw the highest rate of increase among all the product groups.

Tell me more: The top three reasons given for the price rise are delayed monsoons and deficient or excessive rains in some areas.

 

 

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News in Numbers – September 15, 2015

News In Numbers: September 15, 2015

 

6.36%  

The rate at which consumer prices of vegetables fell in August 2015 compared to the same period last year. This rate of decrease was higher in the urban areas than in the rural ones. However, compared to a month ago, vegetable prices went up by 8.5%. Pulses and related products saw the highest rate of increase in consumer prices among all the other product groups in August from a year ago while ‘sugar and confectionery’ saw the highest rate of decline in the same period. The wholesale prices of onions recorded the highest annual increase among all the major commodity groups at 65.29% in August 2015. Overall, wholesale inflation declined for the 10th straight month in August at 4.95% compared to 4.05% in July, aided by falling global commodity prices. Inflation based on the consumer price index fell to a nine-month low of 3.66% in August from 3.69% a month ago.

#1

Gujarat’s position in implementing reforms to facilitate the ease of doing business among all Indian states. An assessment of state implementation of business reforms sponsored by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has considered 98 parameters for the ranking. And, Gujarat’s score is 71.14% (implementation status of each state has been converted to a percentage) followed by Andhra Pradesh (70.12%), Jharkhand (63.09%), Chhattisgarh (62.45%) and Madhya Pradesh (62%). North eastern states — Arunachal Pradesh (1.23%), Nagaland (3.41%) and Meghalaya (4.38%) — are at the bottom of the list. Interestingly, Punjab is the best state to startup followed by Andhra Pradesh. Globally, India ranks 142 among 189 countries in ease of doing business, according to a World Bank report.

 

 

Rs 5,000 crore

The amount taxi aggregator Ola will invest in its newly formed cab leasing business in the coming year. A wholly-owned subsidiary will run the leasing business headed by former LeasePlan India executive Rahul Maroli. In India’s first such programme, drivers would be able to lease a car for a minimal initial deposit of Rs 35,000 and monthly lease payments of about Rs 15,000 with an option to own the vehicle after three years. Ola plans to invest Rs 500 crore initially, after which it would raise funds “independently for this subsidiary”.Over 1,000 vehicles are already operating as part of a pilot programme in six cities including Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. The company plans to add 10,000 cars under this model by December 2015. Ola, the third most valuable internet company, recently raised around $225 million led by Falcon Edge Capital and other existing investors.

 

2

The number of Indian institutes that have made it to top 200 universities in the world for the first time. The QS World University Rankings 2015 puts the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the 147th position while the Indian Institute of Delhi (IIT-Delhi) ranks 179. The world’s top university is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) followed by Harvard University. MIT has a score of 100 while the IISc scored 62 and IIT-D 56.4. In terms of academic reputation, only IIT-Delhi figures in the top 200 while in terms of employee reputation, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Madras find themselves in the top 200 slot. IISc, which also debuted in the QS Asian University Rankings this year, ranks 34 in this list while IIT-Delhi is in the 42nd position.

 

1.6%

The share of medical applications in 3D printing industry, according to the US government-funded National Center for Biotechnology Information. The 3D printing industry, which is a $700 million industry, is expected to grow into a $8.9 billion industry by 2024 with 21% projected to be spent on medical applications. Meanwhile, 3D printing was used for the first time in the world to help perform a surgery on a Spanish cancer patient. The 54-year-old man has successfully received a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib implant and has recovered well. He was suffering from a type of tumour that grows in and around the rib cage and required his breastbone and a part of his rib cage replaced. Also, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the world’s first 3D printed pill recently.

 

 

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