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  • What does Government Data mean to investors?

    Every day, there is a steady flow of government data releases. If you are an investor looking to get the pulse of the economic mood in the country, it is worthwhile tracking these data releases. On days like the budget announcement, the government data receives the maximum attention. However, on other days, most of these end up as small bits of information.

Here are some samples of some recent government data releases that could be useful:

  • Government financial investments:Financial investment (equity plus long term loans) in all the 260 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) as on 31 March 2012 stood at Rs 7,29,228 crore against Rs 6,03,975 crore in the previous year. This is an increase by Rs 1,25,253 crore or a growth of 20.74%. Nearly half of this investment is in the financial services space. The government owns a sizeable chunk of public sector banks. This was followed by ‘electricity’ sector (25.89%) and ‘manufacturing’ sector (15.80%). This is the total investment government has made. The market value of public sector companies is much higher. The BSE PSU index is made up of 60 companies. The market value of these 60 companies is Rs 15,32,307 crore.

  • The stock position of food grains in the government’s central pool as on 1 February 2013 was 661.93 lakh tons. This included 308.09 lakh tons of wheat and 353.84 lakh tons of rice. During 2011-12, a total of 615.26 lakh tons of food grain was allocated under various welfare schemes. This year, so far 627.67 lakh tons of food grains has been allocated.

  • The coal consumption in India rose to 417.6 million tonnes in 2011-12 for coal-based power generation from 240.4 million tonnes in 2001-02. The total geological reserves as on 1 April 2012 are 293.49 billion tonne. Of the total power generation, 71.4% is from coal-based thermal power plants, according to the government data.

  • The government provided free electricity connections to 2,74,98,652 households as of 31 January 2013, according to the new data released by the government. These were below poverty line households.

  • The pollution load on rivers has increased over the years due to rapid urbanization and industrialization as also due to extraction of water for irrigation, drinking, industrial use, power etc. Disposal of untreated or partially treated sewage generated in the cities and towns are also a major source of pollution in the river. Direct use of bacterial contaminated river water may cause water borne diseases. However, no conclusive reports are available. The grossly polluting Industries, which discharge effluents containing load of Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) more than 100 kg/day include tanneries, paper and pulp, sugar and distilleries etc.

  • The government has provided for Rs 90,000 crore for food subsidy against revised estimates of Rs 85,000 for 2012-13. In addition, provisions have been made for subsidy on import of pulses (Rs 250 crore) and edible oils (Rs 318.34 crore), according to one data release by the Agriculture ministry. Other subsidies that will benefit the agricultural sector directly or indirectly include fertilizer subsidy at Rs 65,971 crore, interest subvention on farm credit at Rs 6,000 crore and price support by Jute and Cotton Corporations at Rs 255 crore. These account for two-thirds of the total Rs 2,53,000 crore set aside for subsidies for the year 2012-13.

    • CAll government data and press releases are available on the website. Read more

    • The monthly economic report of the Ministry of Finance also gives an update on the economic state of affairs. Read more

  • 9,30,000 units

    The government has set a target of generating 9,30,000 million units of power for 2012-13. The total power generated in 2012-13 for 10 months to January 2013 through thermal, hydro, nuclear and other sources is 7,62,668 million units. The government also imported 4,710 million units of power from Bhutan, according to a government data release.