World Tourism Day – 27 September

Holidays can be a wonderful chance to get to know new places and people. As well as learning about a location’s geography, history, literature and language, visiting a new place can help break down stereotypes and misconceptions. Tourism can also benefit the communities being visited; many areas rely on tourism as their main industry. A massive 231 million people are employed in the tourist business, and recently there has been a dramatic increase in the number of holidays taken, with more people going away more often. 

What is World Tourism Day 

Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.

Each year has a particular theme. With more than a billion tourists now travelling the world each year, the theme, “1 Billion Tourists, 1 Billion Opportunities”, for 2015 explores the potential of tourism for socio-economic development. The UNWTO has developed a global code of ethics for  tourism,  “to help minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and on cultural heritage while maximising the benefits for residents of tourism destinations”.  It includes sections on ‘The Responsible Tourist’, ‘Trips for travellers’ and ‘Sustainable development’.

Why teach about tourism?

Tourism is a global phenomenon and is a great entry point into looking at other issues such as trade, climate change, sustainable development, workers’ rights and human rights. It naturally fits into the Geography and Modern Foreign Languages curricula, and can be used as a starting point for work in other subjects such as looking at statistics in Maths or sustainable technologies in Design & Technology.

Teaching about tourism raises pupils’ perceptions of the impact they can have on holiday, and can influence their choice of behaviour both while on vacation and towards tourists in their home.

Suggested WTD Activities 

The possibilities are endless to promote the theme. See below for just a few suggestions of how you can get involved.

Spread the word

The WTD website is full of resources you can use to spread the word .

The message of the UNWTO Secretary-General can be freely used in conference materials, brochures, documentaries etc.

You can feel free to upload the logo on your website. You could also use the logo to make your own WTD-themed materials, such as t-shirts, stickers, posters etc.

Hold an event 

WTD is a celebration. So concerts, festivals, shows and parades are a great way to take part.

Launch a competition

A competition – essays, paintings, videos – on tourism and sustainable energy is a fun and simple way to get involved in World Tourism Day.

Take a trip

What better way to celebrate WTD than enjoying being a tourist yourself? Whether it’s around the world or within your own country, with your family or your classmates.

On previous WTDs, a number of destinations and sites have offered free entry or special discounts to the public, so look out for special offers!

World Tourism Day Celebrations in India

People can visit Taj Mahal and nearly 200 other ticketed monuments and museums across the country for free on September 27 that coincides with the World Tourism Day. 

Apart from 116 ticketed monuments which include World Heritage Sites like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Vitthala Temple Hampi, Western Group of Monuments of Khajuraho and Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, entry will also be free for 35 site museums and all other museums under the administrative control of the culture ministry, such as the National Museum and the Salar Jung Museum. 

Other ticketed monuments which will not carry any entry fee on September 27 include Golconda Fort, Charminar, Hydrabad Fort, site of Mauryan Palace, Kumrahar, Patna, Shershah Suri’s Tomb at Sasaram, excavated site of Vikramshila, Antichak, excavated Site of Nalanda, and ancient remains at Vaishali. 

Note : Check World wide  home loan interest rates  in

World wide Home loan interest rates!

World wide Home loan interest rates!

As on Sep-2015

home loan interest rates

India’s economy with a population of 1.26 billion (Est 2010) ranks 4th in the world with a GDP PPP of 3.5 trillion and GDP PPP per capita of 3,015 vs 45,934 home loan interest rates(United States) according to the IMF in 2009. India inflation was 8.3% in 2008 and 10.9% in 2009 . Approximately ~6.80 in 2015.

Home loan interest rates around the world in 44 countries. 

Country Inflation GDP Population Interest Rate Currency
Hong Kong 5% 45,277* 7,234,800 2.15% HKD
Singapore 4.60% 50,180 5,469,700 2.50% SGD
Switzerland 0.40% 40,484 8,183,800 2.62% CHF
Norway 1.90% 53,471 5,156,450 2.75% NOK
Germany 2.20% 34,388 80,767,000 3.28% EUR
Canada 2.80% 37,947 35,540,419 3.30% CAD
Sweden 2.50% 35,951 9,728,498 3.55% SEK
Chile 3.30% 15,002 17,819,054 3.70% – 4.90% CLP
Netherlands 2.30% 39,877 16,876,800 3.90% EUR
Slovakia 3.90% 7,325 5,415,949 4.04% EUR
Taiwan 1.60% 31,776 23,410,280 4.047% ~ 6.797% TWD
Poland 4% 18,837* 38,496,000 4.05% PLN
Slovenia 27,900 2,064,647 4.10% EUR
Austria 3.30% 39,634 8,527,230 4.30% EUR
Qatar 2.80% 78,260 2,187,326 4.35% QAR
Ireland 2.40% 38,685 4,609,600 4.40% EUR
China 5.40% 6,778 1,367,900,000 4.50% RMB
United States 1.50% 45,934 319,094,000 4.88% USD
Panama 5.90% 14,097 3,713,312 4.95% USD
United Kingdom 2% 34,388 64,105,654 4.99% GBP
Bulgaria 4.20% 13,789 7,245,677 5.80% BGN
Fiji 8.60% 4,366 859,178 6.15% FJD
Vietnam 18.90% 2,942 89,708,900 6.49% VND
Greece 2.90% 29,663 10,992,589 6.55% EUR
Australia 3.40% 38,663 23,665,600 6.70% AUD
New Zealand 4.50% 26,670 4,541,340 8.55% NZD
Bahamas 1.80% 31,324 368,390 9.00% – 10.5% BSD
Nepal 8.30% 1,200 27,646,053 9.00% – 10.50% NPR
Bosnia 8,127 3,791,622 9.37% BAM
Jamaica 9.40% 9,029 2,717,991 9.50% JMD
South Africa 5% 10,229 54,002,000 9.50% ZAR
Solomon Islands 3,345 581,344 9.95% SBD
India 6.80% 3,275 1,262,530,000 9.70% – 11.5% INR
Georgia -0.50% 6,145 4,490,500 10.25% GEL
Malaysia 3.30% 13,800 30,401,400 10.50% MYR
Philippines 5.30% 3,546 100,553,900 10.50% PHP
Indonesia 5.70% 4,151 252,164,800 11.00% IDR
Maldives 9,173 341,848 11.00% MVR
Sri Lanka 7.70% 5,220 20,277,597 12.75% LKR
Thailand 4.10% 8,051 64,871,000 12.87% THB
Bangladesh 10.70% 1,565 157,322,000 13.50% BDT
Russia 8.90% 14,913 146,149,200 14.50% RUB
Turkey 7.80% 13,905 76,667,864 16.08% TRY
Zimbabwe 8.30% 559 13,061,239 18.50% USD
Ukraine 9% 6,665* 42,977,367 22.30% UAH

Know about CIBIL Score- It’s growth & impact!

About CIBIL 

Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited, CIBIL, is India’s first credit information company. It creates immense value for financial institutions by providing objective, data and tools to help them manage risk, and devise appropriate lending strategies thus reducing cost and maximizing portfolio profitability. CIBIL benefits both credit grantors and consumers by collecting, analyzing, and delivering information on credit histories of millions of borrowers. It provides its members with information on both consumer and commercial borrowers, thus enabling them make sound credit decisions across both individuals and businesses. It also provides services and education to consumers to help them better manage their finances.

CIBIL’S Growth 

In May 2006, CIBIL commenced commercial credit bureau operations.

In November 2007, CIBIL  TransUnion Score is introduced to banks.

In April 2011, the score is made available to individuals.

“CIBIL today is one the fastest growing credit bureaus globally as it has established its leadership in India’s high potential credit sector within a decade of operations”, said Mr. Satish Pillai- CIBIL’s new Managing Director and CEO. “Over the years, CIBIL has achieved several milestones of growth and is the partner of choice on credit risk management for banks and credit institutions in India. 

CIBIL, India’s largest credit information bureau, maintains credit information on more than 406 million consumer accounts and 22 million business accounts and has a membership base of over 1400 banks and credit institutions. Credit institutions check an applicant’s CIBIL report and CIBIL-TransUnion Score before making lending decisions. Today, banks and credit institutions can lend to consumers confidently based on the information received from CIBIL on the consumer’s past credit behavior as well as anticipate likelihood of default based on the CIBIL-TransUnion Score. CIBIL has also benefitted the consumers by helping make access to credit opportunities faster and easier while driving credit penetration. Anyone who has 750 or more CIBIL TransUnion score can get loan from banks easily, though each bank has its own policy.

Impact of CIBIL 

Home Loans and credit card accounts have witnessed a positive trend in the recent past. The credit demand too has witnessed significant growth during the past five years. 

CIBIL Senior Vice-President-Customer Relations, Harshala Chandorkar said over 3.9 lakh home loans were disbursed between April and June, 2015.

The delinquency of repayments (90 days and more) had come down from 1.06 per cent by end of 2010, to 0.57 per cent by this year’s first quarter, she said, adding that home loan growth was driven by higher demand in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and New Delhi.

As for credit cards, 10.8 lakh new credit card accounts were opened this quarter, against 8 lakh accounts in the first quarter of the last financial year. Delinquency on credit card payments too had come down from 3.27 per cent at the end of 2010, to 1.06 per cent this quarter.

The maximum number of credit card applications came from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru, she pointed out. The growth, she said was driven by the increased growth by increased availability of credit information.

Quoting from CIBIL’s latest data trends report, Ms. Harshala said that 79 per cent of retail loans were approved for individuals whose CIBIL TransUnion rating were beyond 750. She said the number of disputes every month, arising out of incorrect information furnished to the CIBIL by banks were in hundreds, while the CIBIL Reports and TransUnion Scores were being given in crores.

The credit information support received from CIBIL has made lending objective, information oriented and therefore much reliable and less risk prone. On the other side consumers with a good CIBIL TransUnion Score have benefits for accessing credit quickly and conveniently.

I Am Using a Clay Ganesha..Are You..?

Vakrathunda mahaakaaya 

Surya koti samaprabhaa 

Nirvignam kurume deva 

Sarvakaaryeshu sarvadaa.

Ganapati is the god of wisdom and the benevolent deity of the dynasty of Peshwas who ruled Maharashtra inculcating a special culture in the state. He is the herald of auspicious beginnings and is the beloved deity of all. He is the one who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities.

Why is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated 

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the eve of the lord Ganesha’s birthday. Ganesh Pooja is preferred during Madhyahana on Ganesh Chaturthi as it is believed that Lord Ganesha was born during Madhyahana Kaal which is between 12:33 and 15:35.

There is always an innate pull towards Mushika Vaahana who has occupied a place in the hearts of elders and children alike.

How is it Celebrated 
The celebrations are usually so grand that everyone, irrespective of their age and gender, is involved. The proceedings involve getting a Ganesha idol, placing it in the proper place and performing pooja, also offering Ganesha a variety of  dishes.  Performing pooja and offering variety of dishes to Ganesha goes on either for a day or 3 or 5 or 7 or even 21 days. Finally, the Ganesha is immersed in a lake or sea.

Public celebrations of this festival are hugely popular, setting up different statues in each street or in each locality.The festival is also the time for cultural activities like singing and theater performances, orchestra and community activities like free medical check-up, blood donation camps, charity for the poor, etc.

How is Ganesha Made / From Clay Ganesha to PoP Gnaesha :
Though the Ganesha to be used should be made of clay, to make it attractive,  coloring the idol had begun. Slowly, Ganesha’s with Plaster of Paris (PoP) had come up. As they are lighter, a bit cheaper and can make it colorful, setting up different Ganesha idols had become a fancy, and also a matter of pride, infact. 

We know that the proceedings involve immersing Ganesha in a lake. So, immersing these huge PoP idols  in a lake, lead to the water pollution. This had an adverse impact not only on humans but also on the marine life.

Plaster is non-biodegradable, and insoluble in water. Moreover, the chemical paints used to adorn these plaster idols themselves contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium, causing water pollution. Also, on immersion, non-biodegradable accessories that originally adorned the idol accumulate in the layers of sand on the beach.

When an idol made of Plaster of Paris is immersed in the water, it changes form to gypsum, thus adding a large amount of material to the water that breaks down very slowly, while adding to the hardness of water, both of which deteriorate the life carrying capacity and quality of the water thereby causing irreversible environmental effects on the coastal ecology or the eco-system of any water body, which in turn causes adverse environmental effects.

An example:
A study in 2001, revealed an alarming increase in presence of heavy metals in the Hussainsagar Lake (Hyderabad) following immersions. The study showed that subsequent to Ganesha-idol immersions, the concentration of these metals Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Lead  increased perceptibly. The level of arsenic, a noxious trace element, had increased nine-fold in the lake water after the idol immersion, compared to its Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) standards.

The concentration of mercury was found to be alarmingly high in the lake water. It increased by five to six hundred times in the lake water compared to the specifications of desirable limits set by BIS and ICMR standards.

The various paraphernalia immersed along with the idols and its impact is given below:

Sr.No Material contributed by immersion Impact on the aquatic body
1 Plaster of Paris Increases dissolved solids, contribute metals and sludge
2 Decoration material viz. clothes, polish, paint, ornaments cosmetic items etc. Contributes suspended matters, trace metals (Zinc, lead, iron, chromium, arsenic, mercury etc.) metalloids and various organic and inorganic matter, oil & grease etc.
3 Flowers, Garlands, oily substance Increase floating suspended matter organic contamination, oil & grease and various organic and inorganic matter.
4 Bamboo sticks, Beauty articles Big pieces get collected and recycled while small pieces remain floating in water or settled at the river bottom inhabiting river flow.
5 Polythene bags/plastic items Adds to the hazardous material and chokes the aquatic life
6 Eatables, food items etc. Contributes oil and grease, organics to water bodies.

All the figures quoted above and the data has been taken from the report :

Preventive Environemental Management plan for eco-friendly Ganpati festival prepared by Dr. Shyam R Asolekar, Professor & Head Centre for Environmental Science & Engineering Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), 2007.

Eco-friendly Ganesha 

With the awareness growing now, there are about 40% of the population who use clay idols. There are many NGOs that take up making clay ganeshas. Also to pass on the tradition, schools teach the kids how to make them. Many mothers fill the air with fun and festive mood by engaging their kids in the Ganesha making.

How to make a clay Ganesha…

  1. Roll out some clay or dough into a thin, rectangular shape about a cm thick to use for a pedestal for your Ganesha to sit on.
  2. Roll a big ball for the body and place it in the middle of the pedestal.
  3. Roll a small ball for the head and elongate one part of it to make a trunk.
  4. Bend the trunk up a bit and position the head on the body.
  5. Roll two similar shapes (about the size of the head) to create legs, and position these on either side of the body, curving round to overlap at the front.
  6. Roll two cylindrical shapes for the arms and attach these to the back of the body, then curve them around to the front and position them as you like. A raised hand for blessing, or a hand cupping a lotus flower, are both good options.
  7. Roll another two balls of clay, and flatten them to create ears that you attach to the back of the head.
  8. Roll two tiny pieces of clay, or insert toothpicks to create tusks.
  9. Fashion a headdress of your liking to place between Lord Ganesha’s ears. 

It is easy and fun..

The Ganesha Festival is not only a popular festival; it has become a very critical and important economic activity. Many artists, industries, and businesses survive on this mega-event. Ganesha Festival also provides a stage for budding artists to present their art to the public. There are also many events that are organised to promote awareness to use clay Ganesha.

So, let us also revert to the traditional clay Ganesha and immerse it in a bucket of water at home.

Kumar Manglam Birla’s Bungalow – The Costliest in India

The iconic Jatia House in Malabar Hill, which was on the block for quite some time, has not only finally been sold, it has set a new record in the process.

The new owner of the bungalow is Kumar Mangalam Birla of the Aditya Birla Group, who bidRs. 425 crore for the property – which has a 25,000 sq ft built-up area – during an auction, making it the most expensive bungalow deal in the country.

 A senior officer from Jones Lang LaSalle, an international consultancy firm which was carrying out the deal, confirmed that the sale has been done and an amount of 10 per cent will be paid by the owner now and the remaining in the coming days.

“The bungalow has a built-up area of about 25,000 sq ft. This is the costliest bungalow sale in the city for now and no such sale of over Rs.s. 400 crore has taken place in the last few years.”

While the per sq ft rate comes to about Rs.s.1.7 lakh, experts said using that methodology in case of a bungalow is not advisable as apart from the built-up area, it has various open spaces and also a large parking area. The plot size of the bungalow is 2,926 sq m (about 31,495 sq ft) and it is located at Little Gibbs road, in Malabar Hill.

The bungalow has reportedly been bought for the personal use of Birla, who currently resides in a bungalow on Altamount Road, which is hardly a 10-minute drive from his new purchase. 

Next Costliest Bungalows in India :

  • The Maheshwari House in the same area, which went for Rs. 400 crore in 2011. 
  • Mehrangir, the house of Homi Bhabha, which is barely a few feet from Jatia House, was sold for Rs. 372 crore in 2014.

The Costliest Houses In India :

The two Ambani brothers own the two most expensive homes in the world.

1. Mukesh Ambani’s Residence, Mumbai : Antila, the residence of Mukesh Ambani, is not only the most expensive house in India 2015, but also the most expensive house in the world, with its value reaching an incredible Rs 10000 crore. Occupying an area of 400000 sq foot, Antila is no less than a landmark in Mumbai and is full of all modern amenities, which are even hard to imagine.

2. Anil Ambani’s Residence, Mumbai : Anil Ambani is trying to catch his brother even in the race of luxurious home. His new home Abode is said to be  Rs.5000 Crore. 

3. Shahrukh Khan Residence, Mannat, Mumbai : Mannat, the beautiful house of Bollywood super star, is considered as one of the most luxurious homes in the country. The house lives up to the reputation of the super star. It is located in the Bandra locality of Mumbai and is valued at Rs 125-150 crore.

4. Ratan Tata Residence, Colaba, Mumbai : Featuring next on the list of top 10 most expensive houses in India in 2015 is the magnificent bungalow of industrialist Ratan Tata, which is worth Rs 125-150 crore. The three storied palatial house covers an area of 15000 sq feet and has some excellent amenities.


5. Naveen Jindal Residence, Delhi : Next on this list is the beautiful hose of politician-industrialist Naveen Jindal, which lies in the Leafy Lutyens Bungalow Zone in Delhi, one of the most expensive localities in the city. This house is valued at Rs 125-150 crore.

7 things you must know about top-up loan on home loan

What is a top-up loan.

A top-up loan is a loan given on an existing home loan. 

Infact, a top-up loan is an incremental loan on an existing home loan given to the existing customer at a current ‘rack rate’ of  the home finance company or bank. The rack rate is usually 1-1.5% higher than home loan rates.

1. Who is eligible for top-up loans.

top-up loan on home loan

The top-up loan is available for only the existing customers. The customers should have done atleast 6 or more repayments and should have a good track record of repayment.

2. How much top-up can you get.

It varies from lender to lender. 

  • Some  have a cap, say, they look at the current price of your property less the amount of home loan you owe. For e.g., Your property costs 60 lakhs and you got 80% loan at 10% interest. Then the loan amount is 40 lakhs. Supposing you repayed for three years. 

Then the top up is provided on (The amount of the initial home loan) – (outstanding principal amount). 

  • Some provide amount up to 100% of the original home loan. Like Standard Chartered, HSBC, Citi Bank, ICICI Bank.

3. Tenure

The tenure of the top-up loan can go up to 15-20 years, depending on your home loan’s term. As it is offered only to existing customers, the maximum tenure could be the same as the balance repayment period. 

4. Interest Rate

The interest rates are relatively higher when compared with home loans and lesser than the personal loans. Usually it is 1.00% to 1.50% higher than the home loan interest rate.

5. Fees

Banks usually charge a processing fee that is the same as that on their home loan offering. If you have been a good home loan borrower, which means you have paid your instalments on time and have a favourable credit report, the fees may even be waived by some banks.

6. Why Should you Opt for a Top-up loan / Advantages

  • If you are in urgent need of funds, like for education or child’s marriage or even if you want to renovate your house or furnish it, top-up loan is the best solution.
  • Compared to other alternatives such as personal loans, a top up gives you a better deal when it comes to interest rates and processing fees, so you can leverage your existing home loan to help you save costs
  •  A Top Up Loan allows you to repay over a longer tenure compared to a personal loan, helping you to keep your monthly outflow low.
  • The process is simple, quick and hassle-free as the documentation is already done earlier. 
  •  It does not require collateral.

7. Disadvantages

  • It is not approved for those who have a poor track records of repaying the loan.
  • It is the bank’s discretion to approve the loan and the number of EMI’s to be repaid before being eligible for getting the top loan.
  • Not all the banks have this option. 

              So you have an option to transfer your home loan to another lender and get a top-up loan. 

Hence, when you weigh the advantages and disadvantages, it is obvious that opting for a top-up is the best. The purpose may be anything either renovating your home or medical expenses or any emergency needs.There are banks who disburse top up loans equivalent to that of home loans while some have a cap on the amount being lent. Some banks may ask to mention the reason for top-up loan just to avoid illegal usage. So a careful and detailed research is to be done, on your purpose of top-up, as well on the banks you can consider, before going for a top-up loan.

Learn about these tax benefits when buying a car

 If you planning to purchase a new vehicle, one of the most exciting things to uncover is if you can get a tax deduction. There’s always a welcome way of saving a few extra rupees to help offset the high price paid for a new vehicle. Not many know that we can avail tax benefits on buying a car. 

Many of us don’t even know that car loans come with tax advantages and miss out on this benefit. However, all car loans do not come with tax benefit. A car loan is a good tool for the self-employed to claim some tax deduction as well as depreciating assert in the balance sheet.

Tax benefits that can be availed by self-employed while buying a Car.
Tax benefits when buying a carHow do you benefit?

Deductions from payable tax through a car loan can be availed only if you are a business man and declare the profit or capital gains earned from your business. Another condition attached to this is that the vehicle has to be purchased in the name of your business. In that case, you get exemption on the interest as well as depreciation of the vehicle.

Under these conditions, you can include the interest paid for your car loan for tax exemption.

Besides this, businessmen can avail deductions on personal loans too under certain conditions, like the loan being taken as a business loan or for capital investment in business.

Loans taken wisely and within our limits would save us from a never ending debt spiral, which many fear. While loans affect your monthly as well as annual finances for other expenditures, the beneficial side of it in the form of tax saving, reduces their overall impact considerably.

Tax benefits that can be availed by employees while buying a Car.

I am not self-employed, I am working for a company, how can I avail the tax benefits? 

Don’t worry. Most of the employers in India design a company policy for car leasing that would give a tax benefit employees. Check with your employer if you can avail car  lease.

Car leasing is becoming popular among employees who are planning to buy their car through bank loan. Company provides option to employees to buy car- any make any model as per employee eligibility accordingly to company car lease policy depending upon employee’s grade. Best thing is that employee needs not to pay any down payment. Employee simply starts paying lease amount on monthly basis. It is becoming a prominent option in compensation structure of high paid employees. This is offered to employee as an option and it is employee wish to choose or not to choose.

Now question is “Car leasing is a good option for employees? Lets understand first, what is this car leasing plan all about?

Employer ties up with a car leasing company which provides cars on lease and design a company policy for car leasing. If an employee who is eligible for car leasing option can express his willingness and mention model and make of car to buy. Leasing company will buy the car for employee and give it to employee for use – both official and personal. Car will be in name of leasing company. Employee will pay monthly lease amount to leasing company which is normally lower than EMI, if employee goes with bank loan option. Car lease period normally range from 3 to 5 years. After lease period is over employee can either choose to buy the car by paying agreed residual price (20% to 45% of car purchase value) depending upon company policy or let the leasing company keep it. Employee can go for another lease or buy a new one.

What are the benefits to employee?

No down payment is required

Employee need not to make any down payment to lease the car. This is a clear cut saving and employee can use this amount anywhere else. Employee can also make a fixed deposit of this down payment amount and can get good interest rate. Employee enjoys his new car from day one without being worrying arrangement for down payment.

Lower monthly lease amount as compared to Bank EMI

Lease amount paid to lease company is always lower than Bank EMI. Lease amount is calculated after reducing projected sale value of car after lease period wherein Bank EMI is on full value of Car.

Employee need not to worry about car maintenance, service and insurance etc

Employee need not to worry about any paper work, car maintenance, regular service, insurance etc. Leasing company take cares of the same and it is including in monthly lease amount payable by employee. There are options available to not to take maintenance option where monthly lease amount will further reduce but employee need to take care of maintenance of vehicle. Lease companies do also provide break down assistance, replacement car in case car service take more than 24 hours, Chauffeurs etc.

It saves a lot of time of employee.

Tax saving on lease amount paid by employee

In case an employee pay Rs 20,000/- per month as car lease and employee falls in 30% tax bracket then employee clearly saves Rs 6,000/- per month on tax (30% of Rs 20,000). Hence it is clear that car leasing is more beneficial to employees who fall under higher tax bracket. Employee who falls in lower tax bracket like 10% will not be that much beneficial.

Wherein if an employee takes bank loan and pay EMI of Rs 20,000/-, then employee will not get any tax benefits as employer will deduct tax on Rs 20,000.

Further, employee can also take fuel expenses and driver salary from company if an employee use the car for official purpose and this will be non taxable money. Hence further tax saving. Commuting from Office to home and vice versa will not be considered as an official travel and fuel expense can not be claimed against the same.

Benefits are more if employee stays with company for longer period

Return on Car lease option is higher if employee stays with company for longer period and do not change the job again and again.

What are the cons for employee in car leasing?

Car is not owned by employee even after lease tenure is over

Even after your car lease tenure is over car do not belongs to you. It is still company’s property. After lease period is over employee can either choose to buy the car by paying agreed residual price (20% to 45% of car sales value) depending upon company policy or let the leasing company keep it. Employee can go for another lease and buy a new one where in case of Bank Loan, Car is owned by person after loan period is over.

Interest rate is higher in leasing as compared to Bank Loan

Interest rate is higher in leasing as compared to Bank Loan. Monthly Leasing amount is lower because it is calculated on car value after reducing projected sale value of car after lease tenure wherein Bank Loan EMI is calculated on 100% car sale value from day one. That’s the reason lease amount is lower wherein lease interest rate is higher.

Example : If Car sale value is Rs 10,00,000 and lease tenure is 5 years and projected sale value of car @ 20% i.e. Rs 2,00,000 at end of 5 years then lease amount will be calculated on Rs 8,00,000 ( Rs 10,00,000- Rs 2,00,000).

Employee still needs to pay some tax

As per tax laws, when you use a company car, the employee has to pay a perquisite tax. For a car which is less than 1.6cc, the perquisite value is .Rs 1,800 per month; while for cars more than 1.6cc, the perquisite value is .Rs 2,400 per month. This means for a car greater than 1.6cc the employee will pay a tax of Rs 741.6 per month.

Employee cannot take tax benefit on conveyance allowance

If an employee chooses for car lease option then conveyance allowance paid to employee automatically becomes taxable. Rs 800 per month conveyance allowance paid to employee to travel between office to work and vice versa is non taxable but becomes taxable if an employee choose car lease option.

Car leasing is costlier deal if you leave the company in between or want to terminate the lease before lease tenure completion

Although, there is option available to employee to terminate the lease in between but It is always costlier affair. If an employee leaves the company then employee is left with following options:

  • Employee need to pay amount asked by leasing company if employee want to buy the car
  • Employee can transfer the lease to some other employee provided some other employee is willing to take that car.
  • Employee leave the car for leasing company

Some companies do also keep penalty charges in case of mid termination of car leasing.

You become second owner if you choose to purchase your leased car

As mentioned earlier that car you choose to lease is in name of the leasing company however you have purchase option after lease period is over but in that case car will be registered in your name again and you will become second owner. For many people, this does not matter but for some it does.

Car leasing can be a good option depending upon in which tax bracket you fall into, what are your plans to be with same company for longer period or do you have money for down payment etc. It can be good deal or bad deal depending upon your case. Hope above information will help you to take your decision. Please write back to me in case you have any query.

Home insurance: A shield against loss/damage of property and valuables.

Home Insurance: A Shield Against Loss/Damage

A house is made of walls and beams; a home is made with love and dreams.”

There is no such place like home in the entire Universe. After all, it is a place where you and your loved ones can rejoice, weave thousands of memories that last for a lifetime. While we put our life’s savings into buying or constructing a home but we rarely realize that our home needs a protection in the form of insurance too. By investing in a good home insurance policy, also referred as homeowners insurance, you can protect your home from threats. Situations like burglary, fire, earthquake or destruction of house due to riots are quite common in India.

Don’t wait for a calamity to remind you the need of buying a home insurance, opt for it beforehand!

Top 5 Benefits of Home Insurance

There is no denying of the fact that house insurance is a must, however, there are other benefits and riders to buying such a policy that will add convince you totally. Have a look below: 

  • Get comprehensive coverage to both content and structure of your home.
  • Secure your assets from any mis-happening.
  • Buy home insurance policy at comparatively lower premium rates than other insurance policies. 
  • Reduce stress and tension level for you’ll have a home insurance to fall back to, in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  • Timely insurance payouts allow families to go through rebuilding process quickly, helping them to move on and get back to their normal daily lives.

Handy Tips for Choosing a Home Insurance in India

There are various home insurance providers in India that offer different plans as per individual needs. To ease your selection, we have listed down important points which should be compared while choosing one home insurance company over other:

  • Check premium and coverage= Firstly, evaluate risks which your home is facing or might face in a future. For example, if you live in a flood prone area then you should ensure that your home insurance policy is covering these risks also. Also, while checking coverage, it is prudent to check if the premium fits within your budget or not. You can solicit premium quotes of individual insurers or use comparison chart to compare premium quotes.
  • Check claim settlement ratio=A good company is judged by the turnaround time of settling claims. The very purpose of insurance will be defeated if you do not get a claim when it is required. So, it is worthwhile to check the claim settlement record of companies before zeroing in on one insurer.
  • Look at company’s reputation=The first and foremost characteristics of a good company is that it has customer friendly staff. Does your insurance company have competent customer service representatives who are capable enough to resolve your queries quickly? It is always important to choose a company who is well equipped to assist you at any point of time.


Home insurance covers losses to the structure and content of your home due to natural and man-made calamities.

Fire and perils cover-

  • Aircraft damage
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Riot, strike
  • Storm, cyclone, flood
  • Missile testing operations

Earthquake Cover

The policy offers coverage against loss or damage to any of the insured property. However, many policies do not cover flood or overflow of the sea, rivers and lakes due to earthquake.

Burglary and Theft Cover

The contents of home are also covered against burglary or theft. The coverage will also be extended to silver articles, jewellery, precious stones and other valuable items, provided these are kept in a locked safe within your home premises.


  • Loss or damage caused by wear & tear and depreciation
  • Loss of cash
  • Loss or damage caused by war, invasion, act of foreign country
  • Loss or damage caused by nuclear war
  • Loss, destruction or damage caused to any electronic equipment due to over-running or excessive pressure

Who Should Buy a Home Insurance?

Home insurance is meant for anyone who has a home whether own or rented. There is myth that only home-owners should buy a home insurance plan. Let us tell you case of Mr Vijay Rao and how having a home insurance policy saved him during a crisis.

Two months after Mr Rao moved to a rented apartment in Mumbai, a catastrophic fire engulfed furniture and other appliances worth Rs 8 lakh. Thankfully, he had a home insurance policy and he could manage to settle back to normal life again easily and without any financial stress.

It’s a misconception that only house owners should buy a home insurance. Although, house may belong to a landlord but it has contents which belong to you. Irrespective of the fact that whether you are a tenant or owner, buying home insurance should be your top priority.

Even, there are various insurance companies which provide exciting discounts to people who have bought over 3 home insurance covers. However, don’t let discounts make you buying those covers also which you don’t need. For instance, if you are a landlord then avoid buying a policy to cover contents of the house. Leave that to the tenant. Companies also offer discounts if you buy it for a long duration. You can insure the house for up to 10 years, which not only gives peace of mind but you also get a chance to earn lucrative discounts.

How to File for a Home Insurance Claim? 

Almost every insurance company is having its own deadline within which you have to inform about your loss. These can vary between 7-15 days so make sure you do it as soon as possible. Some companies even let you do with an email or SMS. Before you file for a claim, you will have to lodge an FIR and the copy of which you need to submit with insurance company. Apart from FIR report, the other documents which you need to submit are-

  • Fire brigade report
  • Medical Officer’s Certificate for death or disability
  • Investigation report by police
  • Suppliers original invoice for replacement
  • Invoice of owned articles, if any
  • Repair estimates
  • Court summons

Note: This is an indicative list and you may be asked to submit other documents at the time of claim settlement.

How to Lower Your Home insurance Premium? 

Strategies that can help in bringing your home insurance premiums down are-

  • Reduce your liability by agreeing to share the burden of repairing. It will help in reducing your premium.
  • There are many such things in our house which are precious to us but there is no point in insuring them if they are too old. For instance, your 10 years old black & white TV might be working well, but there is no point in insuring it at a depreciated value. Be wary while making an inventory of products to be insured.
  • Take two or more insurance covers to become eligible to get discounts.
  • Like any other insurance plans, if insurers are convinced that you have installed all safety equipments at your home then you will become eligible to get discounted premium. If you have security guards posted 24×7 in the building and fire safety alarms installed at home, then you will get discounts in premium.

e-KYC – Electronic Know Your Customer

Know your customer policies are becoming much more important globally to prevent identity theft, financial fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing.

Electronic know your customerKnow your customer (KYC) is the process of a business verifying the identity of its clients. The term is also used to refer to the bank regulation which governs these activities. Know your customer processes are also employed by companies of all sizes for the purpose of ensuring their proposed agents’, consultants’ or distributors’ anti-bribery compliance. Banks, insurers and export credit insurers agencies are increasingly demanding that customers provide detailed anti-corruption due-diligence information, to verify their probity and integrity.

Banks are often criticized for using know-your-customer (KYC) norms as an excuse to complicate the process of opening accounts. Many have registered complaints on Grahak Seva, the government’s customer-grievances portal, alleging banks repeatedly seek KYC documents, even after these are provided.

Yet, time to time, banks are penalised by the regulator for violating KYC instructions. On December 17, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed monetary penalties on ICICI Bankand Bank of Baroda for non-adherence to certain aspects of KYC norms, which allowed fraudsters to open fictitious accounts in the name of a reputed statutory organisation and use those for illegal transactions. The regulator also cautioned three other banks — Axis Bank, State Bankof India (SBI) and State Bank of Patiala — for failing to adhere to its KYC directives. We know it is difficult because there are constraints such as a large population and an inadequate database.

Recently RBI simplified KYC norms, saying a single document will suffice as proof of identity and address. It added no separate KYC documentation would be needed while transferring accounts from one branch to another branch of the same bank. Those who don’t have any “officially valid document” are allowed to open “small accounts” with banks. Intervals between periodic updating of KYC documents have also been increased.

But challenges remain. Bankers say if an account is used for conducting a large transaction, they sometimes seek additional documents, fearing misuse. This, however, happens on a case-to-case basis. “The entire KYC process becomes difficult to negotiate when a customer has multiple accounts with different banks. If the accounts are split with different holders, it becomes even more difficult to carry out proper background checks. Banks need stronger technology platforms to weed out these discrepancies,” said a senior official of a private bank. Also, in India, the lack of a unique national identifier is a key issue in implementing KYC rules. 

e-KYC explained : 

HDFC bank has created buzz in the recent times as it introduced the e-KYC (electronic Know Your Customer) norm in collaboration with National Payments Corporation in all of the branches. HDFC also claimed that the bank is all set to install biometric readers for scanning fingerprints to make the process even easier.

What exactly is e-KYC? It could be defined as a procedure that would enable a customer to walk in to the bank with an Aadhaar number and open an account by only by getting his fingerprint scanned. With the help of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), bank’s system will pull out all data of the customer that is stored online which includes name, address, age and other relevant data necessary and it will also save a copy of the KYC document that remain stored in UIDAI’ servers. The bank will only print out the account opening form with all the details of the customers already in it.

Electronic know your customer

Before HDFC, Axis bank had launched e-KYC using Visa’s connectivity along with the UIDAI. With the e-KYC facilities, it will become easy for the customers to open accounts without any data entry. Moreover, the entire matter will become paperless as a soft copy of all the necessary documents will be saved in the bank’s systems. Banks are also coming up with the insta-account facilities which help the customers get their account opened within no time and also get them the whole account kit- cheque book, debit card and PIN number across the counter.

However, it is not just opening bank accounts, it has become easy to buy insurance policies with e-KYC. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) confirmed it recently that the e-KYC services that are stored in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) would be considered acceptable by the insurance process. Aadhaar card has become the sole document fir customer identification as that contains all the necessary details for the identification of an individual along with biometric identification. Almost all the insurance giants across the nation are in the process of updating their systems to e-KYC.

Be it opening banking accounts or buying insurance policies, as the e-KYC becomes mandatory, the complete documentation procedure becomes faster, which eventually helps the banks, insurers , customers and the policy holders. Apart from that, the procedure is entirely paperless and it also takes the least turn around time for the insurance companies and the banks, which eventually makes the service better. With time, as e-KYC becomes compulsory everywhere in the banking and the insurance scenario all forms will be in the electronic form and their will be absolutely no physical documents.

Parliamentary panel recommends pro-buyer measures in Real Estate Bill 2013

Real Estate Bill 2013A Parliamentary Committee today(30-July-2015) recommended a slew of measures favouring property buyers, which include a three-year jail term or a fine for a defaulting builder under a new law which will now cover projects of 500 sqm or eight flats.  

The Select Committee of  Rajya Sabha, which examined the  Real Estate Bill 2013 and submitted its report in the House today, also recommended that 50 per cent of payments made by homebuyers for a real estate project should be kept in a separate account and used for that specific purpose only while the rest can be spent on other projects.  

Real Estate Bill 2013The Bill aims at establishing the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for regulation and promotion of the sector and setting up of an adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal. It also aims at establishing the appellate tribunal to hear appeals against the decisions of the  RERA. 

Under the proposed new law, a jail term of up to three years or a penalty of up to 10 per cent of project cost or both can be imposed on a builder in case of defaulting on commitments made to a buyer.  The committee also recommended that the new law should cover projects of 500 sqm and more or eight flats, instead of 1000 sqm or 12 flats as proposed initially in the bill.  

The panel recommended that promoters should get their accounts audited within six months after the close of every financial year by a practising chartered accountant.  

It was also of the view that real estate development beyond town planning area may be brought under the ambit of the Bill.  

The committee, however, did not agree that a person holding more than two apartments or plots in the same project should be treated as a promoter.  

It said that a promoter, while applying for registration of any project with the authority, should enclose details of its existing projects, details of approvals, land title and payment dues.  

The panel also redefined the carpet area, saying it means the net usable floor area of an apartment, excluding the area covered by the external walls and that under service shafts, exclusive balcony or verandah and open terrace areas, although it would include the area covered by the internal partition walls of the apartment