Flying abroad? Not declaring goods may land you in trouble

MUMBAI: After angadias emerged from anonymity following a recent raid on trucks filled with cash, gold and diamonds, people have been asking if a person carrying a lot of money and valuables can be pulled up for doing so, especially if one is flying. Can a flyer be refused security clearance for carrying cash and valuables above a limit? The rules are different for international and domestic travel.

As per customs rules, for carrying gold and expensive items from India to other countries, one needs to procure a certificate from the precious cargo complex a day in advance.

For travelling abroad, one needs to be careful about one’s baggage. It is usual for one to carry jewellery, cash and expensive gadgets, but unless one declares the goods and their value before leaving, one can fall into customs’ net upon return. As per customs rules, for carrying gold and expensive items from India to other countries, one needs to procure a certificate from the precious cargo complex a day in advance. Upon return, the certificate can be shown to customs to claim duty exemption. “The traveler can thus leave the airport without any hassle,” said an officer from the Air Intelligence Unit.

What about bringing home goods bought abroad? “One needs to pay duty if one brings into the country things that cost more than a certain limit,” said a customs official. The duty is 36% for goods worth more than Rs 35,000. For gold, the duty regime is more liberal for women, the allowance being amounts costing up to Rs 20,000. For men, the limit is Rs 10,000. Amounts of gold above these limits attract a duty of 36%. As for cash, one is allowed to bring into the country $5 000 and an equal amount in traveler’s cheques (above what one declared at the time of leaving India).

Customs officials say travelers should never knowingly hide valuables to escape duty. “If discovered, they need to pay a fine apart from duty. It could also lead to an arrest and a court case,” said an official. “In 20-30% of the cases, the intention is not smuggling, but the cases are classified as such.”

What about domestic travel? Well, there is no rule on carrying cash, gold, jewels or gadgets, which means one can carry whatever one feels like and in any quantity. “We do not set limits on such items as they do not pose a haz ard to aircraft security,” said an official of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

But then the income tax department comes into the picture. “If the department receives a tipoff that someone is carrying a huge quantity of cash, its officials can stop and interrogate the flyer,” said an officer. “If one can produce a receipt or otherwise show the origin of the cash, there is no problem.”

Source: The Times of India


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More snow in Shimla, Manali

Shimla, Jan 5 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh’s picturesque tourist resorts Shimla and Manali witnessed light to moderate snowfall Thursday, cheering up the hospitality sector as tourists started to pour in.

While Shimla saw a light spell of snowfall in the evening, nearby places like Kufri and Narkanda have been experiencing moderate snowfall since morning, a Met official said here. Shimla experienced the season’s first snowfall Wednesday evening.

Manali town, which saw a low of minus one degree Celsius Thursday, experienced nine centimetres of snow till Thursday morning.

As news of the snow flashed across the plains, tourists started arriving at Shimla and Manali and nearby snow-bound tourist destinations.

‘It’s really marvellous to see Shimla’s Mall Road landscape and Jakhu Hill trees wrapped in a white blanket. It was a dream that came true for us,’ said Neha, who is here with her husband Jatin Sachdeva.

Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp. general manager Yogesh Behl said: ‘This weekend we are expecting a spike in tourist arrivals.’

The picturesque tourist destinations of Chitkul, a village close to the China border, and Kalpa, both in Kinnaur district, saw moderate snow, according to reports reaching here.

Most hill stations, including Kasauli, Dharamsala, Palampur and Chamba, saw intermittent rain throughout the day.

Shimla recorded the night temperature of 2.6 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 2.6 in Kalpa of Kinnaur district and 4.5 degrees in Dharamsala.

‘The higher reaches in Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu, Shimla and Chamba districts have witnessed moderate to heavy snowfall during the past 24 hours (since Wednesday). Such conditions would continue till Saturday,’ the official added.

© Indo-Asian News Service


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Chinese New Year 2012 – Year of Dragon

As the chinese new year falls on a different date every year, the question on everybody’s mind is When is Chinese New Year 2012?

Chinese lunar New Year is commonly known as Chinese New Year or spring festival. This is an important annual festival celebrated by Chinese round the globe. The festival is based on Chinese calendar and starts on the first month (as per the Chinese calendar) and ends on the fifteenth day of the first month. Chinese new year 2012 will be celebrated on 23rd of January and is the year of Dragon, the most auspicious animal as per the Chinese zodiac. This new year features contemporary and traditional Chinese cultural activities, dances, festivities, singing, Chinese opera, arts and crafts, karaoke competition, innumerable stalls of culinary delights, lion dances, chess competitions, children’s events, calligraphy, dragon parades to name a few.


The Chinese New Year festival is open to all, irrespective of age barriers. They key here is to explore the rich Chinese cultural heritage by being a part of it. In present years, the festival has turned out to be one of the most celebrated festivals. Most countries declare an official holiday on Chinese New Year and year 2012 is not an exception as well. Lunar New Year is known as Tet Nguyen Dan in Vietnam, Setsubun in Japan and Korean New Year in South Korea. The Chinese New Year forms a great annual event in the Chinese communities. You will find families and friends gathering for reunion dinner and markets buzzed with activities.

Chinese New Year is celebrated round the globe including countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Festivities also take place in different countries with major Chinese ethnic populations. Though Chinese New Year is celebrated with pomp and glory in Japan, Cambodia and Philippines, yet it’s not a public holiday here.

 
Chinese New Year is complete when accompanied with Chinese New Year Songs which convey the meaning of good luck, and blessings.

Holding the fifth rank in the cycle, year of dragon follows the rabbit and comes after a regular interval of twelve years. The Chinese New Year doesn’t fall on any particular date; hence it is necessary to go through the calendar so as to come up with the accurate date on which the year of the dragon actually falls.

People grouped under the dragon years or more simply people born in the year of the dragon exhibit characteristics like-

  • * Enterprising
  • * Innovative
  • * Self-assured
  • * Flexible
  • * Passionate
  • * Brave
  • * Unanticipated
  • * Scrutinizing
  • * Generous
  • * Charismatic
  • * Free spirited
  • * Smart and witty
  • * Original

However, they possess a couple of negative characteristics as well. For instance, they crave for attention and are egoistical by nature. They aren’t modest and have a bossy temperament. Their general tendency is to dominate others. They detest solicit advice and may be insensitive and tactless to their partners.

 

Dragons are blessed with good health. The only thing that bothers them is stressful situations. At work, dragons are pretty imaginative and prefer taking a radical approach towards their work.

 

Dragons share similar kind of objectives as well as goals in life. The best suited occupations on their part are as follows-

  • * Inventors
  • * Computer analysts
  • * Campaigners
  • * Architects
  • * Engineers
  • * Philosophers
  • * Lawyers
  • * Brokers
  • * Advertising agents
  • * Psychoanalysts
  • * Salepeople
  • * PR People
  • * Managers
  • * Officers in the armed forces
  • * Politicians

As dragons are born under the same animal symbol, they often share similar likes and dislikes. Some of the likes and dislikes are as follows-

Likes-

  • * Preferred color: Greenish-Blue
  • Gems and Stones: Sapphire, Opal, Amber
  • Preferred Gifts: Tarot cards, mirror, camera, a family crest, cell phone
  • Pastimes and Hobbies: Computer programming, fossil hunting, public speaking, astrology

 

 

 

Dislikes-

  •    * Taking orders
  •    * Lethargic people
  •    * discounted ideas
  •    * redundant bureaucracy