Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Culturelle probiotics - Singapore

If you are using Culturelle or similar probiotics for Kids, I guess the wait is over. Amazon started shipping to Singapore (though at hefty postage charges) and I am glad I don't have to wait for the shops to deliver.

I used to purchase it in Singapore from Telok Blangah (Back to Basics Alternative Diet) & NTUC Unity store some times.

Both charged me from SGD 38 to 55 depending on time & my luck I guess. The challenge is the availability of products and at times I couldn't get them when I visit the store to purchase.

Seems Amazon started offering it sometime early this year (my last order was through Globeshopper in late Jan' 12) and the charges for "Express delivery" is US 74 for 10 packs. So in total I paid $263. In Singapore $ terms it's SGD 33 to my home..Wish the delivery charges are less..

Monday, April 16, 2012

closure of mocca (group purchase) service

Just received this mail. Seems the 'hype' is over or short lived for ST..Wonder how long the rest of the sites can survive. Be it Groupon or Deal.com.sg. I recall seeing more than a dozen few months back...not sure how many of them still running..


Thank you for registering as a perks.mocca.com member. We regret that the Perks site will be taking a break from 16 April 2012 as it makes way for a new e-commerce initiative.

As our valued member, you’ll be among the first to be kept updated about this new initiative. So, look out for our e-newsletter coming your way soon.

In the meantime, do drop us an email at perks@mocca.com if you have any queries.

With best regards
The perks.mocca.com team

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Singapore Average Salary - Check where do you stand @ world

Source: BBC

According to BBC this is where Singapore stands with it's "average" salary of $ 2,616. Ok, now before we jump to conclusions and start saying that it's 'average' and not 'median' let me point some facts.

According to recent graduate employment survey results, it's 2,700 - 3,500 (NTU) & 2,700 - 5000(NUS). This is excluding Employer CPF contributions & bonus/etc. If I take the lower value + 15% CPF and convert to US it stands at $ 2,464 which is still not far behind the BBC number.

Looks like we are doing a wonderful job here..

Monday, April 9, 2012

India Budget 2012 - NRI / Overseas Indians Concerns

Like many millions I was eager to hear some good news so I don't have to "BRIBE" the babu's to carry my laptop+ipad+iphone through Customs in India.

Based on law, any passenger with min 3 days overseas stay can carry a laptop, mobile phone + 25,000 goods without paying duty. But the tricky part is "based on law" and it doesn't work in India. The Customs officer simply asked me that iPad costs more than 50,000 based on price in India so I have to pay the penalty @ 35%.

I refused but as many of you know there is no way you can get over them without 'paying'. I tried my best before I gave up. 

There are many such similar cases experienced by my friends, business travelers to India. No wonder people prefer to travel to Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia or even African nations but when you say India you can see the raised eye brows, unspoken "No, No, Nah, Nah's...

Anyway, this budget I was hoping that the Government can make it legalize to bring electronic devices for personal usage & increase the duty free limit to 50,000 or 100,000 which is not really a lot of money if you are a business man flying overseas.

The outcome is increase to 35,000. This is worse compared to past based on recent downfall of "INR". Rupee lost it's value by more than 15%. So if we see in USD terms, in the past you could bring approx USD 555 worth goods. Now it's only USD 490. :(

There was a new "tax law" proposed which gives the power to Tax his/her overseas income if the NRI/OCI stays in India for more than 60 days in an year. Imagine what would have happened if this becomes a law.

In a way India is trying to push it's own citizens not to visit their own home country for business or family visits. 

So imagine you are making 100,000/year and paying your taxes in your host country. For business reasons you traveled to India & stayed for 30 days; and for family visits another 30 days. That's it. The proposed law wants you to pay tax for 100,000 in India @ 35% rates.

Fortunately this was mooted for now but we won't be that lucky in near future. So my dear fellow country man. Prepare for this...