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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  News in numbers | Valuation of top state-owned firms drop 26% since January 2015
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Up to 15 years

What is it? Prison sentence recommended for human traffickers according to the draft of India’s anti-trafficking bill by India.

Why is it important? It increases the sentence period by nearly three times, from the current four to five years. A total of 5,466 cases of trafficking were reported in 2014, an increase of around 92% from 2009. However, the conviction rate has been low: 23% of cases between 2010 and 2014.

Tell me more: The new law aims to combine several existing laws. According to P.M. Nair, a member of the expert committee that drafted the bill, the highlight of the bill is “it gives victims a legal right to rehabilitation".

14.3 trillion

What is it? Valuation of India’s top 63 public sector companies as on 10 January.

Why is it important? This has dropped by 26% since January 2015. Even over the last five years, this group of state-run companies has underperformed the broad market: a loss of 25% in combined value versus an increase of 42.4% in the combined market cap of BSE 500 companies. This underperformance could affect the government’s disinvestment plans to raise 30,000 crore this fiscal, forcing it to look at other sources of revenue.

Tell me more: If India misses its disinvestment target in 2015-16, it would be its sixth straight year of doing so and the 16th time in the 25 years of selling stakes in government companies.

37

What is it? India’s ranking on the International IP (Intellectual Property) Index by the US Chamber of Commerce in 2015.

Why is it important? This puts India near the bottom of the index, which lists 38 key economies, for the fourth consecutive year. India’s overall score decreased to 7.05, from 7.23, influenced by a new measure for physical trade-related counterfeiting. The report, however, recognized India’s efforts towards a national IP policy and said its “positive steps" in 2015 had the potential to increase the country’s score.

Tell me more: According to the report, India’s challenges include poor enforcement with “high levels of physical and online piracy" and not having concluded a free trade agreement “with substantial IP provisions" since agreeing to an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization.

4,000-5,000

What is it? The number of foreign companies in Mumbai from whom the income-tax department is trying to recover dues, in particular in this financial year.

Why is it important? Together, these companies, which have either not paid taxes on time or are locked in tax disputes, owe 8,000 crore, as per the department. India is looking to tighten rules to curb tax evasion by multinationals. Last December, it proposed that multinationals be taxed in India if their decision-makers conduct most of their meetings in India, even if the decisions are implemented outside India.

Tell me more: The department has collected 23,000 crore from foreign companies so far this year.

Below 5 lakh

What is it? The price at which the Indian government is planning to provide houses to the poor.

Why is it important? Minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari claims 30% of the population can afford houses at this price point. Currently, he adds, only 1% can buy houses costing above 10 lakh. Under its ambitious ‘Housing for All’ programme, the government sanctioned 14 lakh low-cost houses, of which 8 lakh have been built, but 2.45 lakh units are lying vacant.

Tell me more: The steel-structured house, which uses 70% fly ash, has a construction cost of up to 1,000 per sq.ft. The government can provide a 450 sq.ft house at 5 lakh. A buyer gets a subsidy of 1.5 lakh and a loan for the rest at 7-7.5% interest.

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Updated: 11 Feb 2016, 12:16 PM IST
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