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News in numbers - July 17

Poverty level declined by 15 percentage points to 22% between 2004-05 and 2011-12 when the Indian economy grew at an average rate of 8.4%. Economists are calling it the fastest reduction in poverty rate in any eight years. Arvind Virmani, former economic adviser to the Indian government, tweeted that 70% of reduction in poverty is due to economic growth. Poor states have shown sharp reduction in poverty.  

India has decided to allow 100% foreign ownership in telecom and tweaked for 12 other sectors including insurance, aiming to attract foreign capital to bridge the record trade deficit of $ 191 billion. At the same time, foreign direct investment shrunk by 38% during last fiscal. 

Rs 94,500 crore
This opinion piece argues that direct cash transfer might be government's trump card to cap its spiralling subsidy spending, after implementing Food Security Bill- which guarantees subsidised food grains as a right to 67% of India's population. If cash transfers is transferred only to people below poverty line, then the benefit can be capped at 25% of population.

Rs 500 crore

That's the amount Tamil Nadu government will spend to acquire 3.56 per cent equity in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), a central government owned power utility. Market regulator had mandated all state-run firms to have at least 10% public shareholding. Central government held 93.56% stake in NLC, and wanted to sell 3.56% to meet the norm. Tamil Nadu government's purchase come in the background when its own state-run firms are incurring Rs 14,000 crore of losses in fiscal 2012, and are in need of capital. 


Two-third of Delhi's metro users travel during time peak-hours. This has promoted Delhi Metro Corporation- the operator of 190-kilometer network- to propose discounted fares during non-peak hours. 


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