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Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

News in numbers | Only 5.5% of earning individuals pay tax in India

The government unearthed Rs20,000 crore of undisclosed income in the last two years

40,000 crore

What is it? The amount that could be treated as capital in the balance sheets of Indian banks, as per new norms.

Why is it important? It could come as a relief to Indian banks, particularly public sector banks, struggling with bad loans. To provide for these bad loans, the banks could now treat some of their existing reserves as regulatory capital, instead of raising fresh capital from the market or the government.

Tell me more: Public sector banks reported losses aggregating to 12,000 crore in the last quarter, primarily due to bad loans. Of the 40,000 crore un-lockable capital in the balance sheets, public sector banks have 35,000 crore.

40 lakh

What is it? The number of new taxpayers the income-tax department brought into its net.

Why is it important? Increasing the tax base has been a top priority for successive governments. Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia told Business Line that they could add more taxpayers by tracking people through the permanent account number (PAN) associated with high-value transactions. The government unearthed 20,000 crore of undisclosed income in the last two years.

Tell me more: India has very few taxpayers. Only 5.5% of earning individuals pay tax, in part because of the government’s generous economic policies. The recent Economic Survey pointed out in 2012-13 that there “would have been an additional 1.65 crore units incorporated within the taxation system (an addition of about 39.5%) and tax revenues would have been about 31,500 crore greater", if the government had maintained the 2008-09 threshold limit of 1,50,000.

41

What is it? The number of soldiers who died on Siachen glacier since 2013.

Why is it important? The dangers of guarding the glacier at the Indo-Pakistan border hit media headlines last month, following the rescue and death of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad. Koppad and nine other soldiers were fatally hit by an avalanche on the glacier last month. The deaths in 2013, 2014 and 2015 were ten, eight and nine, respectively. In 2016 so far, 14 soldiers have lost their lives.

Tell me more: The army has a command and control set-up at Base Camp Siachen for rescue operations, defence minister Manohar Parrikar told Parliament.

5-6 million

What is it? The number of state workers that China aims to lay off in the next two to three years, according to a Reuters report.

Why is it important? This highlights the ill-effects of China’s high growth. It also shows that the Asian giant is getting serious about excess capacity and pollution, and wants to approach it in its typically systematic style. The government is to spend $23 billion over layoffs in coal and steel sectors alone during this period.

Tell me more: China faces overcapacity in cement, glass-making and five other sectors. Oversupply could turn into a global problem as a 2013 book by Daniel Alpert, The Age of Oversupply, warned.

23

What is it? The number of prosecution witnesses that Delhi police has lined up in a sexual harassment charge against Teri executive vice-chairman (on leave) R.K. Pachauri.

Why is it important? It’s one of the most high-profile sexual harassment cases in India. Pachauri was the head of UN climate change panel, which won Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and of The Energy Resources Institute. In 2015, a female employee of Teri accused him of sexual harassment, following which he stepped down from the UN panel and was forced to go on leave from Teri. Last month, one more employee accused him of sexual harassment.

Tell me more: The chargesheet that relates to the first complaint runs into more than 1,400 pages, and the magistrate will hear the case on 23 April.

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