News in Numbers | 9 new bills in line to be listed in Parliament’s winter session

4.2%

What is it? Down from 4.39% in September, Retail inflation rate in October.

Wholesale price inflation too eased to a four-month low of 3.39% in October, compared to 3.57% in September. The rate has eased for the third straight month to a 14-month low in October, mainly due to smaller increases in food prices. The government’s recent demonetization move is likely to reduce cash transactions, easing inflation further. This easing increases the chances of the central bank’s monetary policy committee cutting interest rates again next month.

Tell me more: Last month, the monetary policy committee cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%, which was near a six-year low.

2.41

The debt-equity ratio of the smallest firms among 305 non-financial BSE 500 companies in 2015-16.

This goes against the popular perception that debt problems plague larger firms only. This study, which divided the 305 companies into four quartiles, showed this ratio was the highest (2.41) for the bottom quartile and lowest (0.83) for the top quartile. The debt-equity ratio is a measure of a company’s financial leverage. The average debt of the least-valuable firms is 2.3 times their market cap, against 0.32 for the most-valuable ones.

Tell me more: For the least-valuable firms, the interest coverage ratio fell below 1, indicating their operating income was insufficient to meet interest costs. For both sets, their ability to meet interest expenses hit a 10-year low in 2015-16.

10%

An advisory, broking and business solutions company, according to Willis Towers Watson, The projected salary hike to be offered by Indian companies to employees in 2017.

In the last two years, the actual salary growth has been below the projected figures: 10.45% in 2015 and 10% in 2016. The expected rise in 2017 is marginally lower than the projected salary growth of 10.8% each in 2015 and 2016. This is the highest among key emerging and developed markets in Asia.

Tell me more: Against 34% for above-average and 28% for average performers, about 38% of the budget earmarked for salary increases is for top performers, says The Willis Towers Watson report.

9

The number of new bills that are in line to be listed, considered and passed During the winter session of Parliament.

Tell me more: The opposition is likely to demand a discussion on the decision to scrap old currency notes in Rs500 and Rs1,000 denominations and seek a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the allegation that some, notably officials of the ruling (BJP) Bharatiya Janata Party, knew about the move beforehand. With opposition parties uniting against the government on its recent demonetization move.

Tell me more: This session’s agenda also lists 10 bills that have already been introduced, but are yet to be considered and passed. The Indian Institutes of Management to be institutions of national importance and another for surrogacy regulation, The nine new bills include three related to the goods and services tax.

20

A coalition-in-making of solar-resource rich countries, The number of countries that have signed a framework agreement on the (ISA) International Solar Alliance .

Countries are expected to join the ISA in the coming weeks and the agreement will come into force when at least 15 nations ratify it. The initiative, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP21, Paris Climate Summit last year, has taken its first major step forward.

Tell me more: The ISA would be headquartered in India, which has promised to contribute $27 million towards creating infrastructure and recurring expenditure over five years.