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News in numbers - August 6

7,000
Forward Markets Commission (FMC), India's commodities regulator, asked the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) to settle first the dues of 7,000 small investors who have outstanding of less than Rs 10 lakh each. NSEL was engulfed in a payment crisis last week as government asked the exchange not to offer forward contracts for which it did not have permission. This article raises important questions: the settlement guarantee fund (SGF) shrunk from Rs 839 crore on last Friday to Rs 60 crore on Monday. NSEL showed margin money from brokers as SGF, when it should be "should be carved out of brokers' initial deposit, profit, fines and initial capital." Another key question is whether there is enough underlying commodities to meet Rs 5,500 crore outstanding payment. 

51 months
Incoming work for India's services sector, which account for more than half of India's GDP, contracted for the first time in 51 months even as the overall Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI)- which measures services sector output- fell below 50 in July this year. A measure below means contraction. Despite this, managers have expressed optimism for growth prospects over the next 12 months

8 daysToyota has decided to stop production for eight days in a month since last quarter to match its output with slowing sales. The company joins a long list of other manufacturers who too are facing low demand as customers are postponing purchase because of high finance cost or are preferring to buy few new models launched this year. As compared to capacity of 310,000 units, Toyota sold 190,000 units in April- March 2013 and this financial year's sales will be even lower than this. 

Rs 50 per kilo
A kilo of onion is now retailing at Rs 50 per kilogram in Delhi, just few months before state elections. Many reasons are being cited: higher exports to Pakistan, heavy rains in neighbouring states destroying the crop, and farmers taking up other crops this year. Fresh stocks are expected to arrive later this month and it might help bring down the prices. High onion prices is cited as one of the reasons why BJP lost the Delhi elections in 1998, since then the Congress party has won successive elections. 

275,000
That's the number of people who avail free medicines and basic diagnostics provided by the Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation (RMSC) each day. The implementation of this scheme has helped Rajasthan reduce poverty level by 10 percentage points between 2009-10 and 2011-12. 2.1 million people used to be pushed into poverty each year because of higher medical cost before this scheme was announced. 


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