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Home / News / India /  Decoding the data behind air traffic, tax refunds and cyber security

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights, complete with easy-to-read visual charts, to help you delve deeper into the stories from the week just gone by. The Omicron variant of coronavirus has started to discourage air travel, early data suggests. Inflation is rising and could go much beyond the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) expectations in coming months. Here’s more:

Flying Low

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The sense of anxiety among air travellers surrounding the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is becoming palpable. The number of passengers flying on domestic airlines every day has started to flatten, shows data from ICICI Direct. The slowdown comes weeks ahead of Christmas and New Year holidays and could bring gloom to the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sectors.

Shrinking Network

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The branch network of state-owned banks has been shrinking as a result of the lenders’ efforts to rationalize their presence and to avoid overlap caused by a spate of mergers. The number of public sector bank branches fell by 4,389 between March 2017 and September 2021. Contrariwise, private banks raised their branch count by more than 7,000 in the same period, Mint reported.

 

Tax Refunds

This is the total amount of tax refunds issued by the income tax department to 12.7 million taxpayers in the year so far. This includes personal income tax refunds to the tune of 46,438 crore and a corporate tax refund of 90,340 crore. It also includes nine million refunds for the assessment year 2021-22, amounting to about 18,849 crore.

Changing Pie

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A strong growth in online retail channels is set to push up the share of food and groceries in overall e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV), Mint reported. This means the share of mobile phones, consumer electronics and durables in annual e-commerce GMV could decline from 60% in 2020 to 30% over the next decade. The retail pie will grow in size to $350 billion by 2030.

Cyber Risks

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Indian companies are at high risk because of a critical cyber-vulnerability called Log4Shell, which is being exploited by attackers to target organizations all over the world. About 41% of corporate networks in India have already faced an attempted exploit, according to Check Point Research. The Australia-New Zealand area was the most impacted with 46% of corporate networks targeted.

Price Pressures

That’s where India’s headline inflation could reach in January-March 2022 even if retail prices stay constant hereon, show calculations by Mint. The RBI estimates it at just 5.7%. The year-on-year inflation print is set to cross the central bank’s 6% limit this month onwards because the higher base of 2020 will no longer cover up for rising prices.

 

Personal Touch

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Loan disbursements through digital mode have been rising, a transformation pushed by the covid-19 pandemic. Private banks and non-banking financial companies dominate the digital lending space, with a 55% and 30% share, respectively, as of 2019-20. Personal loans were the most preferred, just over half by value, of all digital loans given by banks.

 

Chart of the Week: Fifth Highest

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With Harnaaz Sandhu bringing home the Miss Universe title after 21 years, India ties with Mexico, Sweden, and South Africa with the fifth-highest number of Miss Universe winners. The US takes the top spot with eight winners, followed by Venezuela. 

Follow us on #MintCharts on Twitter and subscribe to Mint’s Top of the Morning newsletter for our Chart of the Day.                                     

 

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