500 kg

What is it? Amount of gold mobilised under the Gold Monetisation Scheme, which aims to convert the yellow metal lying idle in households into the banking system.

Why is it important? Indicates increased acceptance for the scheme, which received poor response in the first month after the launch in November last year where only 500 grams worth of gold was deposited.

Tell me more: At 500 kg or half tonne, it is a small fraction of estimated total stock of 20,000 tonnes of gold held by individuals and institutions in India, and around 1,000 tonnes of annual imports.


What is it? Number of tourists visiting India who have availed the e-tourist visa in calendar 2015, as compared to 39,046 in 2014.

Why is it important? Though the growth is high, the number of tourists availing e-tourist visa is only 5.5% of around 8 million tourists who visited India last year. The overall tourist arrivals increased by 4.4%, even as the world’s second largest population attracts less than 1% of world’s tourist arrivals.

Tell me more: Tourists from 114 countries can get tourist visas online, without visiting the Indian consulates, under the e-eourist visa scheme.

7,500 crore

What is it? Estimated value of opioids consumed in Punjab each year. The state now has 230,000 (or 0.84% of state’s population) opioid dependent people. This number does not include money spent by opioid users who are not dependent on drugs.

Why is it important? The extent of socio-economic problem is revealed by the fact that three-fourths of the opioid dependent users are in the age group of 18 to 35 years, 54% are married and 56% of them live in rural areas.

Tell me more: Total number of opioid users like heroin is estimated at 860,000, though the main aim of the study done by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi and Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses was to estimate drug dependence.

100,000 crore

What is it? Amount of housing loans disbursed by ICICI Bank, which became the first private sector bank to cross this milestone.

Why is it important? With corporate lending slowing down, banks are looking at mortgage lending to boost their disbursals. For ICICI, home loans account for 25% of its total lending and 50% of its retail loans.

Tell me more: Total market size is estimated at 7 trillion, with state-run State Bank of India and Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd. having around 1.7 trillion lakh of disbursements each.


What is it? Average increase in base pay expected in 2016, which is same as last year.

Why is it important? Expected salary increase can be seen as a proxy of how companies perceive prospects for their sector this year. Life sciences, information technology and chemical industries firms expecting more than 11% pay increase. Salary forecasts are lower for the consumer, auto and services sectors.

Tell me more: Nearly half of 691 firms surveyed plan to increase headcount.

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