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India’s logistics cost lower than Govt estimate

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NEW DELHI : On various occasions in recent years, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari pegged India’s logistics to be around 13 to 14 percent of its GDP. In fact, Gadkari has also previously stated that the government aims to bring this figure down to nine percent by the end of 2024. However, a recent report released by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), shows that even the upper bound estimates for India’s logistics cost have stayed within 10 percent in the 10 years.

This is much lower than the figures that have been touted in the public discourse so far. In 2021-22 the logistics cost was estimated to have been between 7.8 and 8.9 percent of the GDP, lower than the estimated cost of 8.1 percent to 9.2 percent the year before.

The NCAER study looked at data from 2011-12 to 2021-22. However, the years 2019-20 and 2020-21, being abnormal years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been excluded from the study.

The government had rolled out the National Logistics Policy and PM Gati Shakti project to cut down on logistics costs and stated the aim of bringing them down to single digits.

Decline in life insurance policies sold to women

The share of life insurance policies issued to women in the total number of policies sold in India slightly decreased from 34.7 percent in 2021-22 to 34.2 percent in 2022-23, a study conducted by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) showed.

Out of a total of 28.4 million policies sold in the country in 2022-23, only around 9.74 million were sold to women. The share of policies sold to women by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) was higher at 35.81 percent, compared to the share of women among policies sold by private life insurance companies (30.13 percent).

Meanwhile, the bottom five among states and Union territories in the list included Ladakh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

IRDAI considered data on the number of policies and first-year premiums for the year 2022 -23 for its study.

Electricity to see recovery in December

The daily data on power consumption released by the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) shows that as much as 119.6 billion kWh (kilowatt-hour) of electricity was consumed in November. However, this figure is expected to be revised up in the final figure, which according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) will touch 121 billion kWh.

This is a significant decline from the 139.8 billion kWh of electricity consumed in October. Although November has historically been marked by a decline in electricity consumption, the fall this year is expected to be steeper than previous years.

The first 21 days of December have seen 85 billion kWh of electricity being consumed. Considering that electricity consumption usually picks up towards the end of December, possibly due to the dipping temperatures as well as Christmas and New Year festivities, the final figure for the month is expected to reach 128 billion kWh. This is a sequential growth of 5.7 percent from the estimate for November.

“These numbers reflect a 9.5 percent year-on-year growth in November and a 4.7 percent growth in December. This estimated growth suggests a loss of momentum in electricity consumption. These growth rates are not as high as the double-digit growth witnessed in the past few months. In the period July through October, the growth rates ranged between 11.5 and 22.6 percent, compared to the previous year,” said CMIE in an analysis report.

The Indian company earning a profit of $1.3 million per employee

Fortune 500 companies collectively earned a revenue of $41 trillion in FY23, amassing a whopping $2.9 trillion in profit. Having a collective workforce of more than 700 million, these companies clocked an average profit per employee of $41,300.

However, some companies raked in more profits per employee than others. The Danish trading company Energi Danmark Group led the list by far, earning $5.7 million in profit per employee, according to a report published by AgencyReviews, an online marketplace that matches brands and agencies.

Rajesh Exports, an India based gold refiner and manufacturer of gold-based products, also figured in the list of top five companies earning the highest profit per employee. The gold giant, which processes about 35 percent of gold produced in the world, raked in a profit of $200 million from just 135 employees during the fiscal year. This means that the company earned a profit of $1.3 million per employee.

Sector-wise, household products, energy, and technology emerged as top performers among the lot with average profits per employee of $89.82k, $80.51k, and $76.58k, respectively.

Although the financial sector was the most represented in the list, with as many as 101 companies, the sector also showcased considerable efficiency, with an average profit per employee of $62,000, surpassing the global average of $41,300.

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