Skip to main content

News in numbers - July 26

Rs 62
Government is planning to declare anyone spending less than Rs 62 a day in urban areas as poor and will be eligible to get subsidised food as part of the proposed Food Bill. In rural areas, the line would be Rs 50 per day. It was only yesterday, the planning commission declared the poverty level came down to 22% of population assuming poverty line of Rs 32 in urban areas and Rs 27 in rural areas. At the proposed level, 65% (or 795 million) of Indians will be labeled as poor. 

Swedish cement major, Holcim will scoop out 92% of Gujarat Ambuja's Rs 3,700 crore cash after the proposed reorganization. In a two-stage deal, Gujarat Ambuja- which has 22 million tonnes of cement capacity - will pay Rs 3,500 crore to acquire 24% stake in Holcim's financial arm in India. Then, Holcim will merge itself with Gujarat Ambuja Cement. Market reacted negatively to the news with shares of Gujarat Ambuja fell by 10.6%- the sharpest drop in five years. 

For the first time, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned about sales of iPhone in the Indian market, saying it showed 400% growth in just ended April - June quarter. Though he did not divulge exact numbers, CyberMedia Research says iPhone shipments were 205,000 units in three months ended June 2013, as compared to 72,000 units in year-ago period. If Apple manages to sell 200,000 units every quarter, its smartphone market share in India would be still less than 10%.

That's the amount of interest the central government is paying while borrowing through the 91-day treasury bill (T-bill). This is the highest since 1996. For Rs 16,000 crore worth of T-bills, government would pay extra interest of Rs 140 crore as compared to last auction rate of 7.48%. India's central bank has taken steps to control liquidity in the market to arrest the fall of Indian rupee, but it has impacted the bond market. 

150,000The top 10 software firms will hire 150,000 engineers this year as compared to 200,000 hired in 2012. But only 40% of them will hired in-campus as compared to previous norm of 60-70% of total hiring. As software firms face uncertain demand from their primary markets- US and Europe - they are staggering the offer letter from once a year to twice a year to fresh graduates. 


Popular posts from this blog

'koil madu' and myself........

'Koil madu' is a Tamil term used to describe the cows that are tied to the temple. It is there forever. In literal usage, the term can be used on people who spend loads of time at religious place. I might fit that description well. Haven't missed many Sunday church services. If I have to put a number, I would have attended 39 out of 40 years of Sunday services.

Last Sunday, the preacher at my Delhi church was referring to Ecclesiastes 11: 1 and 2. In the last few years, I have started to like the Message translation of The Bible. This version uses modern day language, yet it captures the true meaning of the root language. So I referred to the Message version when the preacher was mentioning these verses.

These verses I haven't heard before and it was sort of like an eye opener on what the Bible says on charity. I have been a 'koil madu' but haven't found this verse for this long. It was profound. Check out the verses:

"Be generous: Invest in acts of ch…

How not to spend taxpayers money

If you're wondering how best your tax money is spent, then you should look at how Telangana's Rythu Bandhu Scheme works. The state government decided that it will give Rs4,000 per acre as investment incentive to all farm owners. The biggest benefit would be farm mechanization by small landowners who otherwise may not have opted for machanisation. So far so good. 

Here is the interesting thing: the incentive per acre is given to all farmers irrespective of how much land is owned, or whether he is actually tilling the land. 

So a farmer with 200 acres of land, will pocket Rs 8 lakh of public money (money that you and me pay as tax), and in all probability, he is filthy rich and is not even tilling the land. 

Anyone with any semblance of knowledge of rural economy will say there are a vast number of tenant farmers (people who don't own the land, but they till and share a portion of the product with the landlord). Telengana government in its infinite wisdom decided not to include…

Happiness, street vendors, and negotiations......

Few days back I was watching a documentary series, "India's Frontier Trains". The three-part series was on trains connecting India with its neighbours - Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. Yes, there is a train connection between India and Nepal, and that train is the only functioning train for the whole of Nepal.

In the episode on the train between India and Bangladesh, the program documented a life of a chocolate seller inside the train. He boards the train in the Bangladesh side of the route. A sole bread winner for a family of four, he earns by selling chocolates in the train.

He faces a perennial problem: because of hot weather conditions, his chocolates melt. In those hot days, his earnings are meager. A basic cooling device like this costs seventeen pounds and he couldn't afford that.

What moved me was the insensitive nature of some passengers in haggling with this struggling chocolate seller. They would force down the price by 10 pence or more (which is more tha…