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July 25, 2014

Air Travel is Going to Costlier Soon ~ Impact of Recent Malaysian Airlines Crashes

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Friday, July 25, 2014
If you think that the oil price is going to increase which further increase the flight travel cost then you are wrong here. This increase in Airfare may happen due to increase in travel insurance burden on Airlines following the twin tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines, industry officials said.

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flight fare hike due to high insurance renewal fee

This is a real bad time for the aviation industry as couple of massive incidents shake the entire world, which will surely force people to think about whether air travel is the safest way anymore. After those incidents people are more aware about travel insurance. Not only that 
“Due to hardening of reinsurance rate for the aviation sector, post-two consecutive plane crashes of Malaysian Airlines within a period of four months, the aviation cover may go up when their policies come up for renewal this year,” New India Assurance chairman and managing director G Srinivasan said on Thursday.
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So these factors will force aviation companies to go for more insurance renewal fees which further lead to a Airfare hike in coming days. Keep a track of our website for any further updates on this topic. Or if you have any information regarding this kindly share your comment to aware our readers.

July 15, 2014

Best 80c Investment Options you can consider to save more income tax after Budget 2014-15

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Tuesday, July 15, 2014
80c income tax savings options
After this year's Budget 2014-15 income tax exception limit has been raised to 1.5 lakh under 80C where now one can show more savings and save more income tax. Generally with the term 80C many people understand to save more in LIC policies. But here I want to say to everyone is that there are many income tax saving tools provided under 80C which we can choose to save our hard earned money and save more income tax after this year's Budget 2014-15. 

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Savings under section 80C one can consider for income tax savings

Do you what are the options you have under section 80C to save more income tax, if the answer is know then this will help you to realize there are too much stuff included in this section and for which 1.5 lakh is very less.

1) Term Deposit (Bank Fixed Deposits - 5 years block period)
2) LIC Premium
3) Housing Loan Principle Component
4) Public Provident Fund
5) National Saving Certificate (NSC) VIII issue
6) Tuition Fee - First & Second child
7) Units of Mutual fund
8) Infrastructure Bonds
9) Unit linked Insurance Plan
10) 5 year term deposit under the post office time deposit rules 1981
11) Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Rules 2004
12) LIC Pension Plan - Jeevan Suraksha
13) NABARD rural bonds
14) Stamp Duty and Registration Charges for a home

15) Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)

Lastly finance minister has re-issued the KVP (Kissan Vikas Patra Scheme) which was a very popular savings scheme in India earlier.

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Best 80C Income Tax Savings Options

Now after this budget many people are talking that they have to save more to meet 80C 1.5 lakh criteria. Here I understood 2 points
1) If you have surplus money after your expenditure then you can easily increase savings by choosing any of the above options.
2) If your income does not allow you to save up to 1.5 lakh then there is no point to take extra tension as limit has increased. Work hard to improve your salary and then use this limit. It's like the home loan interest limit, only if you have taken a home loan then only you can use that 2 lakh bracket. Otherwise you are paying income tax based on rule only.

Now among those 15 options I think there are few savings options which anyone can choose easily to save more income tax.
1) Insurance premiums, as almost everyone is aware of the importance of life insurance
2) Savings on PPF. In fact PPF savings limit has increased up to 1.5 lakh which means it alone can serve the purpose.
3) Tution fee for kids for which you don't have to think much as its a compulsory expenditure as well as a 80C income tax saving instrument.
4) Tax saving FDs are also very popular in market.

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So if you think after all of them you are not able to meet the 80C limit the you can increase savings in FD or PPF or go for any other savings from the top 15 points. Besides them NSC and KVP can be a best option from a long term investment point of view which is very safe and return is also good.

Share your thought and problems here regarding 80C income tax savings options provided in recent budget 2014-15.

July 11, 2014

Top 10 Union Budget 2014-15 highlights

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Friday, July 11, 2014
I was watching television after Union Budget 2014-15 presented by our Honorable Finance Minister Arun Jetly where most oppositions are questioning about this budget as this not the Aam Aadmi Budget according to them.  There are many expectations, there could be many things but whatever is presented I tried to understand the good points of this Union Budget 2014-15. Here I have highlighted such points that is really a good step and few things are done first time by any Govt according to me. Let's find out my top 10 Union Budget 2014-15 highlights.
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Union Budget 2014-15 highlights

1) Now aerated drinks with added sugar (cold drinks) will be cost more as additional 5% excise tax to be levied on. Tobacco products also to get costly as excise duty hiked to 72%. This is good move considering the public health and I hope this will discourage these sort of products. We should feel the threat that we are not living in a healthy society due to these bad habits in people.

2) Govt reduces prices for many things like reduction in excise duty for specified food package industry from 10% to 6%, excise duty on footwear reduced from 12% to 6%, prices of LCD/LED TVs are cheaper now.

3) The major highlight will be the changes in direct taxes, that is income tax rates. You can find in short here
  • Upto 2.4 lakh no tax for men & women. For senior citizen its up to 3 lakh.
  • Home loan interest excemption has raised to 2 lakh from 1.5 lakh
  • PPF quota has increased up to 1.5 lakh
  • Section 80C has also increased up to 1.5 Lakh

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4) A dedicated channel for North-east. I think this is a very good step as most people of India in other parts don't know much about the North-East part. It will boost the North-East economy also indirectly. I would like to say special thanks to finance minister to do something for this part of the country for the first time.

5) Not only that now North-east will be connected via railway network in a better way and finance minister has allocated 1000 crore for that.

6) Rs 4200 crore set aside for Jal Marg Vikas project on river Ganga connecting Allahabad to Haldia , over 1620 km. This is something which they have to do as they promised in election manifesto.

7) Rs 100 crore set aside for Kisan Television to provide real time information on various farming and agriculture issues. This sort of action is really required for our farmers if they really implemented as promised.

8) Govt announces Rs 100 crore for modernization of madrassas. Now this is really good step to upgrade the madrasas which was a real debatable issue. Recently I observed couple of channels organised various debates on this topic. This step will improve the education system and help the Muslims to compete with the mainline education system when they are moving out of Madrasas for higher education.

9) Propose to set up four more AIIMS; Rs. 500 crore set aside for this. Six new AIIMS started recently have become functional. Four new AIIMS will be set up in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha and Purvanchal. 

10) Govt proposes National Housing Banking programme; sets aside Rs 8000 crore for this program. This will help people to get their dream home in cities where buying a home is almost a dream come true.

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Besides these 10 points, there are few more points we can talk about like Beti Padhao, Beti Badhao Yojana which will help womanhood to revive in this country. But the budgeting seems like not enough at all. Also Govt announces to set up 5 more IITs and 5 IIMs.

Lot of promises, plans, yojana. Now we have to see how much they will happen in grass-root level. Or this Govt is also like the previous ones who only promised 100s of projects but hardly 2-3 take off.

July 10, 2014

union budget 2014-15 : New income tax slab and other rules

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Thursday, July 10, 2014
income tax slab 2015
Finally the day has come for which all common people are waiting and actually opted for Modi Sarkar. For middle class people Income Tax is such a sentiment which actually drive the major part of this year's election. The victory of Modi Sarkar was mostly driven by the middle class people who are expecting a relief in income tax and the current inflation. New finance minister Arun Jetly has just now declared the new income tax slab rates with more relief in various sections to encourage savings as well save more income tax from your salary.

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New Income Tax Changes in Budget 2014-2015

Income Tax Slab has been increased upto 2.5 lacs from 2 lakh of current exception slab for men and women. And for senior Citizens it has raised up to 3 lakh.
Finally home loan interest exception has been hiked to 2 lakhs from current 1.5 lakhs. This is a much expected hike and this will really boost the reality sector and for people who are planning to buy new flats.
PPF limit has been increased to 1.5 lakh from current 1 lakh per person. PPF is the best tool for a long term investment point of view and this will encourage savings.
80C limit has been increased to 1.5 lakh from current 1 lakh which is also a very good move by Modi Sarkar as we can now invest more and save more income tax.

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Check out the new income tax slab rates for 2014-15

For Male and Female
0.0 - 2.5    Lakh   NIL
2.5 - 5.0    Lakh     10%
5.0 - 10.0 Lakh      20%
Over  10   Lakh   30%

For Senior citizon ( 60+ yrs )
0.0 - 3.0   Lakh   NIL
3.0 - 5.0   Lakh      10%
5.0 - 10.0 Lakh      20%
Over  10   Lakh   30%

This is all about the New Income tax changes which may not be the expected one but there is no doubt that it has given a little relief to people. 
image source : http://rupeeinvest.com/

June 14, 2014

Reliance Life eTerm Plan review, key features and premium calculations

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Saturday, June 14, 2014
Reliance online term plan or Reliance Life E Term insurance policy is nothing but a typical term insurance plan like many other popular term insurance plans in India. E.g. ICICI Prudential I-Care, HDFC Click 2 protect etc. In this plan insurer will get the death benefit covered during the policy term without expecting any maturity benefit. Insurer can opt for an additional accidental rider in which in case death happen during the policy tenure due to accident he/she may get some additional benefit as agreed upon during the policy subscription. And you can buy this policy via online only, which means premium will be very less like other online term insurance plans.

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Reliance Online Term Insurance Plan Review

There is nothing special to talk about this policy as most of the clauses are similar in all online term insurance policies. From the policy brochure we have collected few information like below
reliance e term plan review
You wil get flexibility to choose protection cover based on your needs:
Option I: Death Benefit equal to Sum Assured
Option II:
a) In the event of death of the Life Assured: Death Benefit equal to Sum Assured

b) In the event of death on account of an accident: An additional amount equal to the Sum Assured

Visit the Exclusive link here to buy this policy online.

Premium payment Options
You need to pay premiums regularly. This plan allows annual premium payment mode only.
Premiums can be paid by any of the following modes:
a) Internet banking facility as approved by the Company from time to time
b) Debit/Credit cards of the Life Assured 
Amount will be subject to Company rules and relevant legislation or regulations.

Grace period for payment of premiums
There is a grace period of 30 days from the due date for payment of regular premiums. 

Premium Discontinuance 
If the premiums are not paid within the grace period, the policy will lapse

The policy can be revived up to 2 years from the date of lapse. A policy can be revived during the revival period of 2 years by paying the arrears of premiums under the policy with interest at prevailing rate of interest. The current rate of interest is 9% p.a. and is subject to change from time to time. Revival of the policy is subject to satisfactory 
Board approved underwriting of the Life Assured, i.e. the Life Assured may have to undergo 
medical test, etc.

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The policy does not acquire any surrender value

For more details you can refer the brochure available online.

June 13, 2014

How to check passport status online

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Friday, June 13, 2014
Want to know your passport application status online, then this article may help you to find out How to check passport status online. Now a days Passport Application Process has become quite simpler with the implementation of PSK (Passport Seva Kendra) in various cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad offices etc. You might be applying for a fresh passport or renewing your expired or lost passport but the procedure to check the passport application status is same for both the cases.

In case you want to know more about passport application and renewal process, then you should check out the below 2 articles as well.

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Steps to Check Passport Application Status Online

First of all check the receipt copy that you have for the proof of your passport application and find out the file number. You need this number mandatory to check your passport status. Its not possible to check passport status online without file number.

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Then visit the Passport India website or directly click on the link here.

How to check passport application online

Now Select the Application Type as Passport/PCC/IC.
Put the File Number that you have collected.
Next your date of birth.

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Finally click on Track Status. Then you can check out the status of your passport application. Based on that status you can further take necessary action. E.g. if you find that your status is Police Verification Pending, but actually its done from your end then you can physically visit that police station to cross check why the status is still like that. According to that you can speed up the process of your passport application.

June 12, 2014

SpiceJet launched Monsoon Sale Offer - cheap flight ticket at Rs 1999 only

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Thursday, June 12, 2014
The launch of AirAsia has already heat up the aviation market and result is country's low cost Airline SpicJet has recently launched another cheap flight ticket scheme under Monsoon Sale tag. SpiceJet has really proved India's cheapest and low cost Airline by offering many such cheap flight tickets in last few months. But the way AirAsia is able to create the buzz in the market is really interesting to see how far people are going to get benefit. Air Asia will operate between Bangalore, Chennai, Goa and few other routes initially, but they will grow nationally as per the response with in a short time. Let's see how SpiceJet and other low cost Airlines survive their operation in this price war.

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Now as per this SpiceJet Monsoon Offer you can buy a flight ticket at a price of only Rs 1,999, inclusive of taxes, on direct, via and onward flights from eight cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mysore and Vishakhapatnam.

This offer has already started on Tuesday and you can book to travel between July 6 and March 28 next year, the airline said in a release.

Anyway AirAsia is starting their operation from Today in the Bangalore-Goa-Banagalore route in which people will be travelling at a price of Rs 990 only.

June 11, 2014

What is service charge in your restaurant bill ?

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Wednesday, June 11, 2014
know more about your restaurant bill
These days taking family to week end in a good restaurant to enjoy a dinner is very common among city dwellers. Many people like to enjoy a buffet and many alacarte, whatever the way you like to enjoy the food have you ever check your restaurant bill carefully. This is not end as before leaving we used to provide tip to maintain the basic restaurant etiquette. Now here without knowing the fact many of us are paying extra tip as the same is already included in your restaurant bill. Yes, that's why you have to understand your restaurant bill and not to feel awkward while not providing any tip in your next dinner or lunch.

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Impact of Service Charge in Restaurant bills 

Let's decode the restaurant bill in a clear manner. Generally most of the restaurant food bills have below 3 components to make the final bill
  • Service Charge ( 4 - 10 % ) 
  • Service Tax (around 5 % )
  • VAT ( 12.5% )
Now among these 3 charges only Service Tax and VAT are the common name that you might heard and we are used to pay them as they are from Govt rules. But what is this other one Service charge doing in this bill and eating 10% of my money.

This service charge is the amount that restaurant is charging to provide various assistance to customers by taking order, serving food and any other service. The limit of putting service charge is 4-10%, but in most places you will find that they are charging 10%. And restaurant owner has to mention about this service charge in the menu, otherwise they can not include the same in the bill. So, now when you enjoyed a dinner of Rs 1000 most of the time you may give a tip of 20-50 depending on people. But in reality you have paid more than 100 Rs as tip in the bill already. 

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So no need to feel uneasy or awkward by not paying the tip as you have already paid a mandatory tip which might be even more what you are planning to give. I would like to hear from you any experience related to this experience or topic.
image source : livemint.com

June 9, 2014

Income From other sources we miss most of the time while preparing Income tax Filling

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Monday, June 09, 2014
Every year it's a very complicated and frustrating process to fill the income tax as most of us are in dilemma whether to declare what or not to declare. Generally most of us have a perception that we have to declare our salary in income tax filling and rest is not traceable, so no need to declare. Or most of the time we play some tricks to save those earnings by putting that income under spouse name. But do you know that it is not that easy as Income Tax Department can track every single penny you are earning. In this article we will find out the most common income from other sources that you should not forget to include in your IT filling.

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Income From Other Sources

We are talking here the incomes a common man can have besides his regular salary, rather than business.
Rental Income: Now a days buying a home is very easy. At the same time many people are buying home in one city but staying on rent in other city putting the owned flat on rent to balance the expenditure. In such a case the rental income should be considered as income that most of miss while filling income tax.

EPF Withdrawal: These days people are changing their jobs very frequently and it happens mostly in IT sector. With these trend while changing the job people are often withdrawing their EPF amount with the previous employer without knowing that if you are withdrawing EPF amount before 5 years it should be declared as a taxable income.

Share Trading: This is a very common thing many people are doing these days as share market is at its highest pick. But do you know that share trading income is taxable too.

Income from part-time work : Many of us do some part-time job like blogging, small business, work from home business etc as a hobby to earn some extra money. And most of the time we miss those amount thinking that they are negligible, but they that is also your taxable income.

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Income tax department is very strict and can track every penny one is earning. You may think that you are smart enough to play with this income from other sources and yet to be traced. Then you might be lucky till date but not all the time. In other way there are many proper techniques to distribute your earning among your family member to reduce income tax burden that you need to know as well to deal with this topic legally.
source : ndtv.com

June 5, 2014

Top 5 places to visit in Nagaland - one of North East's seven sister

Posted by Santanu Debnath at Thursday, June 05, 2014
Nagaland, one of the seven sisters of North-East. It is a beautiful place to visit most for the natural scenic beauty, cultural heritage and tradition of Naga's. You can enjoy the major attractions of Nagaland like high hills, valleys, waterfalls, their local tribes and their traditional culture and festivals. Most people who love to know more about nature, fearless and love to explore various cultures of India, Nagaland is one the best place for that. You can travel between October to may, Durin the winter and early summer to enjoy a perfect trip.

Nagaland Tourist Attractions

It's better to reach Kohima first to start the Nagaland trip. The nearest destination is Guwahati, Assam. First reach there from any part of India and then hire a taxi or board on train and bus to reach there. Its around 340 km from Assam.

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Nagaland Tourism Attractions and Places to visit

Here we want to list out the most popular places to visit in Nagaland although there is not much variety than high hills and valleys. Let;s check out the few places 

1) Kohima - The capital of Nagaland. You can enjoy sight-seeing around the city and enjoy food. Also you can participate in Trecks and few adventure sports. The popular place to visit in Kohima is Khonoma - India's first eco green village.

2) Dimapur - Dimapur is one of the popular city in Nagaland, surrounded by Kohima. The major attractions are Zoological Park,Shiva Temple,Kachari Ruins,Triple Falls, Nagaland Science Centre, Rangapahar Reserve Forest, Diezephe Village etc.

3) Mokokchung - Mokokchung is one of the best tourist destination in Nagaland, the land of Ao Naga Tribe. The major sight-seeing attractions are Chuchuyimlang,Ungma, Mopungchuket,Molung,Changkikong Range,Ongpangkong Range, Tzurangkong Range, Asetkong Range,Langpangkong Caves, Longkhum.

4) Zunheboto - This is one of the Urban populated hill in Nagaland. The hills in Zunheboto vary in height from 1000 to 2500 m. Popular sight-seeing places here are Ghosu bird sanctuary, Satoi range heritage site, Fakim wildlife sanctuary etc.

5) Phek - It is surrounded Myanmar in the east, Zunheboto and Tuensang districts of Nagaland in the north, Manipur state in the south and Kohima District of Nagaland in the west. The major attractions of this place is lake, hills and villages like Khezakeno village, pfutsero hills and shilloi lake.

Besides that you can also explore places like Wokha, Mon and Tuensang and enjoy sight-seeing and adventures. Explore more from Nagaland Tourism website.
image source : wackywanderlust.com

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