News in Numbers: GIC first state-owned non-life insurer to take IPO route
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What is it? The number of income tax returns filed as on 5 August 2017.
Why is it important? This compares with 2.27 crore income tax returns filed as on the same date a year ago, registering a 24.7% increase. The government attributes this increase to its move to ban high currency notes last year in addition to the Operation Clean Money it carried out later. The government has been trying to increase the tax base as there are only seven taxpayers for every 100 voters (aged 18 and above) in India.
Tell me more: The government said advance tax collections of Personal Income Tax as on 5 August this year increased by 41.8% over that recorded in the corresponding period a year ago.
What is it? The amount reinsurer General Insurance Corporation is likely to raise via the initial public offering (IPO) route.
Why is it important? It will be the first government-owned non-life insurance to tap the capital market. This is part of the government’s plans to list five non-insurance companies in which it holds stakes and the proceeds are likely to help the state to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of gross domestic product for the year ending March. The government has set an ambitious target of Rs72,500 crore in 2017-18, of which it expects to get 15% from the listing of state-owned general insurance companies.
Tell me more: The government will sell 107.5 million shares while the insurer will sell 17.2 million shares—a total of 124.7 million or 14.22% of the company’s post-issue share capital.
What is it? The number of Trinamool Congress legislators in Tripura who joined the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) on Monday.
Why is it important? With this, the BJP made its maiden entry into the state assembly in Tripura, which has been ruled by the Left for the last 24 years. This gives the BJP a better foothold in Tripura, which is one of the three northeast states going for state elections next year. The party has been making efforts to strengthen its presence in the region and recently, it won the state elections in Assam and formed governments in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Tell me more: The six legislators were sacked by Mamata Banerjee from her party after they supported National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the Presidential elections last month.
What is it? The percentage of retirement fund of government employees which the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) wants to invest in equity markets.
Why is it important? The proposal, if accepted, by the government would mean additional Rs57,000 crore flow into equity markets, and could provide superior returns to government employees as returns from debt funds are low. This will also bring parity between the government and non-government employees under the National Pension Scheme administered by PFRDA.
Tell me more: In the last eight years, NPS has generated 18% return on equity investment and 12% on corporate bonds. Government securities have generated returns lower than corporate bonds.
What is it? The estimated amount of fresh fruits that are waiting at Kabul to be airlifted to New Delhi.
Why is it important? The export from Kabul is part of the air corridor announced between the two countries to boost bilateral trade, which stood at $700 million. But the lack of adequate number of planes and infrastructure at Kabul airport to deal with fruit exports has resulted in loss for Afghan traders.
Tell me more: The first cargo, carrying medicines, water purifiers and medical equipment, flew from Delhi on 18 June this year. The next day, India imported 60 tonnes of “hing” from Afghanistan.
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