Union Budget

Union Budget

Union Budget, in the language of a financial analyst, is the estimated sources and application of funds for a particular fiscal year. It is normally placed before the House of Parliament in the last week of February.

To the common citizens, budget is all about rise or fall in the prices of goods and services due to change in rate of taxes and duties. The purpose of Union budget is, however, much broader. It is a plan of the central Government for optimal allocation of the country’s resources so as to achieve higher growth rates and make the economic development.

Two Broad Components

Two Broad Components of Union Budget are Revenue Budget and Capital Budget. Former is an estimate of short-term sources and applications of fund and the later is an estimate of long-term sources and application of funds.

Revenue budget comprises of revenue receipts and revenue expenditure. Sources of Revenue receipts are tax and non-tax revenues. Centre’s Net Tax Revenue is gross tax revenue net of the amount transferred to the National Calamity Contingency fund/ NDRF and State’s share. Gross tax revenue are collected from corporation tax, income tax, other taxes and duties (including wealth tax, securities transaction tax, banking cash transaction tax and wealth tax), customs dutes, union excise duties, service tax and taxes of the union territories. Non-tax revenue are collected from interest receipts, dividends and profits, external grants, other non-tax revenue and receipts of union territories.

Revenue expenditure is of two types – plan and non-plan. Plan revenue expenditure includes central plan, central assistance for State and Union territory plans. Non-plan revenue expenditure includes interest payments and pre-payment premium, defence services, subsidies, grants to state and union territory governments, pensions, police services, assistance to states from National Calamity Contingency Fund, economic services (including agriculture, industry, power, transport, communications, science and technology etc), other general services (education, health, broadcasting etc), postal deficit, expenditure of union territories without legislature, amount met for National Calamity Contingency fund, grants to foreign governments etc.

Capital budget comprises of capital receipts and expenditure. Capital receipt includes non-debt receipts and debt receipts. Non-debt part comprises of recoveries of loans and advances and miscellaneous capital receipts and the debt receipts include market loans, short-term borrowings, external assistance, securities issued against small savings, state provident funds (net) and other receipts (net).

Like revenue expenditure, capital expenditure is also of two types – plan and non-plan. Plan capital expenditure refers to expenses on central plan and central assistance for state and union territory. Non-plan part includes defence services, other non-plan capital outlay, loans to public enterprises, loans to state and union territory governments, loans to foreign governments and other non-plan capital expenditures.

To sum up, one could understand a budget if it is presented in horizontal form as: SHORT TERM SOURCES OF FUND (Revenue receipt) +LONG TERM SOURCES OF FUNDS (Capital receipt) = SHORT TERM APPLICATIONS OF FUND (Revenue expenditure) + LONG TERM APPLICATIONS OF FUND (Capital expenditure). Like accounting equation, sources of fund …

MOD's Accelerated Job Losses – Is the UK Government Risking Its Support to the Frontline Forces?

Like all government departments in the UK, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) has had its share of budget cuts. In order to reduce costs, the MOD has resorted to reduction in front line staff, delaying in development of its weapons, and mass redundancies with its so called softer areas – its civilian staff.

MOD's target for reduction in its civilian staff over the next 3 years is 25,000 employees. As part of this staff reduction program, MOD was hoping to make about 4,000 staff redundant this year. The MOD was pleasantly surprised when it received 8,000 voluntary applications for redundancies. Combination of a generous redundancy package and the fact that many of the civil servants are now beginning to accept the reality and want to move on, has doubled the expected take up. The MOD has now decided not to slow down and make 8,000 jobs redundant instead of the original budgeted 4,000 redundancies this year. While this inevitably helps the MOD to meet its targeted number of 25,000 in the next three years, a sudden surge in the number of redundancies and staff losses puts MOD in a tricky situation.

As majority of the job losses are in the back-offices, front line officers and heads of battalions in the armed services worry that some of the critical back-office functions may become understaffed. The unions have similar claims. They insist that it was only in May 2011, that the MOD assured that they would not increase redundancies from their target of 4,000 as it can impact their capability to support the front line forces. The latest u-turn by the MOD accepting 8,000 redundancy applications has taken front line forces and the unions by surprise.

To be fair to the MOD, it has insisted that the job losses would be carefully managed to ensure that none of the critical areas of support would be under-resourced. However, several union members have criticized the department saying that it lost its ability to cope with the financial pressures it is facing. They label is as "short-termism gone mad".

The MOD will always continue to be under close scrutiny by the general public. Criticism in the past such as inadequate support leading to deaths and injuries of front line staff has not helped the MOD. While the war in Iraq is over, dangers of escalation in Afghanistan and Libya remains a genuine concern for the MOD.

It will always be nice to have well-oiled defense machinery and removal of extra fat and overheads is always a welcome move. With 25,000 redundancies in the support staff – has MOD pushed this a bit too far? – Only time will tell.

Many people working in the civil services have secured their income by investing in short term income protection insurance policies or payment protection covers. Vast majority have also re-skilled themselves and are happy to take their redundancy packages and find themselves a new life.

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What Is HACCP in the Food Industry and How to Get HACCP Certified?

An HACCP for Food safety management system which stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points is considered a risk analysis for the food safety sector with international recognition, which is used as priority in action and reduction of risks in the food process. The tool identifies the critical control points, so the control points and their respective actions are defined. Thus, the process can guarantee safety of the process regarding the industrialization and manipulation of food.

For assessing risks and establishing control systems, HACCP is an effective tool that focuses on prevention rather than relying mainly on final product testing. HACCP Certification serves different purposes, but is also complementary. The main focus of HACCP is the sanitation of facilities, equipment and products, all of which must meet government and municipal standards. As well as priority for companies in the food industry is HACCP certification.

An external certification authority grants the HACCP Certification that has the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake an assessment of the HACCP system. The food business should always ensure that the external or third-party certification body has the necessary qualifications to provide service.

Application of HACCP principles

The principle focuses on the records and documentation needed to show that all activities have been performed according to approved procedures. HACCP principles should meet the following criteria:

  • Identify the main hazards associated with the type of product produced and the operations carried out flexibility.
  • Identify those Critical Control Points (CCPs) / Control Points (CPs) necessary to control those hazards; it may choose to have in the plan only CPs which is legal requirements flexibility that pre-determined CCPs in the preparation, manufacturing and processing of food.
  • Establish legal limits against which to monitor the effectiveness of control measures at CCPs / CPs flexibility.
  • Monitoring CCPs / CPs flexibility: – may be a simple procedure such as a visual observation to monitor whether the correct de-hiding procedure is being applied during slaughter process.
  • Record the observations and corrective actions taken; the requirement of retaining HACCP documents needs to be flexible in order to avoid undue burdens for businesses.
  • Recording – in the case of visual monitoring procedures it can be acceptable to record results only when there is a problem and the corrective action that has been taken; that is, ‘exception reporting’.
  • Verify the HACCP-based procedures flexibility: – checking all aspects of the HACCP plan can be spread throughout the year so that all aspects are verified at least once a year to meet the requirement for verification.

Benefits of Implementing HACCP

  • Increased consumer or government confidence
  • Reduced legal and insurance costs
  • Increased market access
  • Reduction in production costs
  • Improved product consistency
  • Improved staff-management commitment to food safety
  • Decreased business risk.

To gain HACCP certification by a reputable certification provider such as Global Manager Group who provides HACCP Certification Documentation Kit to cover all the requirements of HACCP documentation. The HACCP documents follows CODEX guideline is designed accurately so that it can be used very effectively for educating vendors, …

Modern Money Mechanics – An Analysis of the Impact of Individual Debt

Modern money mechanics, as described in the banking handbook with this same name, is a system whereby money is created out of debt. This system is used in nearly every civilized country and as of late has been the largest contributor to the credit crisis. I will explain this system in detail in the following sections, but as a quick foreword, your financial problems are not your fault.

Money, that pretty green piece of paper with official looking seals all over it, does not exist. Money is created out of the need for more money. I'll give you an example. The government electronically sends the federal reserve a request for ten billion dollars. The federal reserve responses and then starts to print the money and these bills become federal reserve notes. The government in turn begins to print out some official looking pieces of paper called government bonds. A 10% reserve is held out of the ten billion and the nine billion is the excessive. Because that nine billion is consitered the excessive, new loans can be created based off of that amount.

Now lets say that a bank decides to borrow the newly created nine billion dollars. You would think that the money that was created earlier would be used in the new loan, but it isn't. The other ten billion was just used as a basis for this new loan and the newly available nine billion is created out of thin air just for this bank. In fact, the process continues up to nine times, down to 8.1 billion, 7.29 billion and so on. All of this money has been created simply out of a need for it, a debt. Therefore we can conclude that money equals debt. Inflation is actually a purposefull taxation on people in order to keep the population working longer (wage slavery at it's best).

Now that you know the internal structure of it, lets consider how it affects you. We all know how inflation is a constant in our modern world, but we don't know how to combat it as a society. The fact of the matter is, if there was no debt, there would be no money. If debt equals money, and inflation means that the value of our dollar is lowering constantly, then our only choice is to get out of debt as individuals. If we get out of debt, then the value of the dollar will raise, and our banking system will take a serious hit while we reap the benefit. Imagine your little $ 25,000 a year job becoming the equivalent of $ 200,000.

So now that you realise the reprocusions of what you've just read, I recommend reading another article of mine on how to get out of debt quickly and easily.

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Mexico Hotels and Oaxaca Rank Poorly in Tripadvisor 2013 Travelers' Choice Awards

Whether the American media has found another country to bash when it comes to travel destinations, or the government of Mexico has finally begun to make headway in its fight against drug wars and lords, the Tripadvisor 2013 Travelers' Choice Awards confirm that vacationers have not yet gotten the message that a visit to a Mexican city, resort or beach is a safe bet. And the ratings for the state of Oaxaca which relies strongly on tourism for its economic lifeline, in particular the capital of Oaxaca de Juárez and the main two Pacific coastal resorts of Huatulco and Puerto Escondido, are just as troubling from a revenue generating perspective.

Tripadvisor is the most widely used global online forum for travelers planning a trip abroad to select hotels and other forms of lodging, restaurants, tours and activities. So when the website's annual rankings are published, it means something, albeit they arguably may be up to a year out of date.

For the Top 25 Hotels in the World category, Mexico was completely shut out, first place going to Four Seasons Hualalai, Kailua – Kano, Hawaii. In the Top 25 Hotels in Mexico category, Oaxaca received no placement, top choice going to Las Ventanas al Paraiso in San José del Cabo.

In the listing for the Top 25 Small Hotels in the World, similarly Mexico did not make the cut, the prize going to Anastasis Apartments in Greece. In the Mexico category, once again Oaxaca was persona non grata, first place going to Playa Fiesta Beach Club & Hotel in Puerto Vallarta.

Mexico's bad news continues in the category of Top 25 Romance Hotels in the World and Top 25 World Destinations. For romance Anastasis Apartments in Greece again took top spot, and for destinations Paris got the nod, in both categories not a peep from Mexico. Within the country, it was Secrets Marona Beach Riviera Cancun winning for Romance, with zilch for Oaxaca. However, while for Mexico's Top Ten Destinations the city of Oaxaca did get 8th spot, first place went to Cancun.

Mexico missed the boat once again for B & Bs and Inns, although within the country Oaxacan lodgings took 13th and 18th places. And for beach destinations, first place out of Top 25 in the World went to Rabbit Beach Islands of Sicily, with Mexico getting only one nod, 21st place for Akumal. Within the country first place went to Playa el Norte at Isla Mujeres, with the silver lining vote going to Zicatela, the famed Puerto Escondido beach.

The Mexican city of Patzcuaro did rank # 18 in the category of the Top 25 Bargain Hotels in the World for its Casa Encantada, and in fact Oaxaca picked up to votes for Bargain Hotels in Mexico, one in each of Huatulco and the city of Oaxaca .

It may very well be that it will take a little more consumer confidence for vacationers to return to Mexico, and that the $ 91 million spent by the …

What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance

Some homes sit in high-risk areas for water damage. Other residences are located in a moderate-or low-risk location. Regardless of your home's location, you might consider purchasing flood insurance to protect yourself from the financial loss that can result from water damage.

Limitations of Disaster Relief

If you are not insured when a catastrophic event occurs, you will be left to either repair the damage on your own or hope the state or federal government issues an official declaration of disaster. Without this official declaration, no assistance will be provided. Even with an official declaration, not all disasters will result in assistance awards to residents. You may only receive an offer for financing to cover your expenses, rather than funds for rebuilding and repairs.


When you purchase individual flood insurance coverage for your house, you have will receive greater protection in the event of a disaster in the form of a payout.

– In the event of flooding, you will receive a payout commensurate to the water damage caused to your property.

– Any funds you receive from your policy will not require repayment.

– Your policy will be continuous without the threat of non-renewal or cancellation due to repeated claims, which can occur with disaster assistance.

– Policy owners can also receive coverage for contents of a home or business, up to $ 100,000 for residential policies and up to $ 500,000 for business policies.

Coverage Details

Individual policies will have different coverage features, so be sure to carefully read the policy paperwork so you understand the terms. For example, the nature of the flooding will determine coverage. If water damage occurs due to a sewer backup in your home, most policies will protect you from this damage only if it occurred as a result of a flooding event rather than another type of issue. Learn what building property and personal contents are included in the policy. Find out what issues are not covered by the terms of your agreement. A policy will also have deductible options to select, which will affect premiums and claim payments.

Eligible Properties

A number of different types of properties are eligible for insurance coverage. You can purchase coverage for a single-family or multi-family home. You can also, as a business owner, cover commercial property that you own. Renters can purchase policies for apartments, condominiums, and commercial property to protect against loss from water damage.

Government and Lender Requirements

People who own property in floodplain areas may have no choice but to purchase flood insurance. Home and business owners who are in high-risk areas with federally regulated loans often find that coverage is required under the terms of their mortgage. Small business owners who receive certain loans from the Small Business Administration may also find that this requirement is attached to their financing terms. Some communities in high-risk areas have management ordinances in place that require residents to have insurance policies that protect them against loss from water damage. To be eligible for …

How Entrepreneurs Can Use an MWDBE Certification to Enter New Markets

The benefit of being and MWDBE is that various state and other governmental authorities mandate that MWDBE certified firms must receive a certain percentage, usually between 25%-40% of any prime contract that is funded by the government. For example, in New York State MWDBE Construction Management firms usually get 35% on average for some very large and lucrative public works construction projects. But as in all markets, where there is a big demand or, this case opportunity, there is also much more supply, that is, competitors.

But what if a firm looked at smaller niche markets. Markets where, while there is still opportunity, ie. government funding jobs and contracts, but a very limited range of qualified competitors. My experience concentrates on the AEC market, that is Architecture, Engineering and Construction. But there are many other markets that MWDBE firms can enter, both with the AEC industry and others as well, think education, health care, housing.

If a entrepreneur who is qualified for an MWDBE certification were to do some good research, she/he could probably find small niche markets within which millions of dollars is being spent by the government, a portion of that money is probably mandated to go to an MWDBE. Naturally, this would be somewhat limited to the person’s chosen profession, but even ambulance service contracts, in certain states, are mandated to be apportioned to MWDBE firms.

This represents a safety net available for these firms or start ups, so as to facilitate the entry into new markets. Once established in the market, then a firm can decide if it wants to expand away from the state mandated revenue pool, and become primes themselves.

The legislation behind the MWDBE regulations was put there for a purpose, to help a certain sector of the population build businesses that did government work. A smart entrepreneur could find a very lucrative business in a haystack, if they’re smart enough.

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Michigan Unemployment Benefits Website – A Storehouse Of Information

If a Michigan resident becomes unemployed due to no fault of his own, he can get information about getting employment or Michigan unemployment benefits by visiting the Michigan unemployment benefits website, michigan.gov/uia.

This website is a storehouse of information regarding how to claim unemployment benefits. It provides detailed tax information especially regarding tax deductions that might be made from the benefits, details of the unemployment insurance agency of the state, and how they are calculated by the Michigan unemployment office. It also gives valuable tips about how to minimize or completely avoid income tax on the benefits.

Unemployment insurance benefits for the unemployed in Michigan have been designed to give only temporary relief till such time the person takes up new employment. An unemployed person should either visit the Michigan unemployment benefits website or go to the Michigan unemployment office to get detailed information on the procedures to claim benefits or to gain fresh employment.

If a person visits the office, there are computers with internet connections that can be used to look for jobs in Michigan. The unemployed individual can also prepare his resume and file the same. The office will try and match the resume with the available positions based on the experience and skills that the person possesses.

Filing Unemployment Benefit Claims

Claims for unemployment benefits should be filed during the first week of unemployment. This can be done by visiting the Michigan unemployment benefits website or by going to the Michigan unemployment office. The unemployed person can either file a new unemployment claim or reopen an existing one. The website works from 7:00 a.m. Monday through 7:00 p.m. Saturday. The claim can also be filed on telephone by calling UIA’s telephone filed claims (TFC) number 1-866-500-0017. This is a toll free number but the claims can only be filed according to a schedule that is provided in the website.

Once the claim is filed, the person will receive a mail giving information regarding whether he will qualify on the basis of the wages that he has earned. He will also be informed about the total weekly benefits amount and the period (in weeks) for which he can get the benefits. A separate notice will be sent if there are problems regarding eligibility for the unemployment claims.

Detailed information regarding rights and responsibilities with respect to the benefits will also be sent by the Michigan unemployment benefits website. Any person seeking the benefits in Michigan must be unemployed. He should be actively looking out for suitable full-time work and he should be capable and available for the same. The person can choose to receive his benefits either by direct deposit to his bank account or through a debit card.

Amount of Unemployment Benefit

The calculation of the amount of the benefit is done by the UIA staff. The highest amount of wages paid to a person in any base period quarter is multiplied by 4.1 percent. An amount of $6 is added for every dependent that he …

Protecting Government Benefits With Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust (SNT) is a trust designed to supplement the needs of an individual whose necessary medical or living expenses are paid through programs such as Medicaid or SSI. Because these programs are "means tested" – based in part on income – an SNT enables the beneficiary to continue receiving aid despite an increase in income or assets. In general, the excess funds are placed into the SNT which then pays for the beneficiary's supplemental needs such as recreation and consumer goods not otherwise covered by government benefits. Here are a few examples:

Divorce and the disabled child . Disabled children who receive SSI risk a reduction or termination of benefits when one parent is required to pay child support. Receipt of child support can reduce SSI benefits by one third for children under age 18 and dollar for dollar for children age 18 and older. Instead of the funds being transferred outright, the child support can be placed into an SNT which diverts the income away from the child. Because SSI provides for food, shelter and utility expenses, the SNT can pay for other life enhancing benefits such as vacations, electronics or specialized vehicles – all while maintaining the child's entitlement to government benefits.

Personal Injury Settlements . Personal injury settlements are designed in part, to cover the individual's future medical expenses and needs. A portion of the settlement may also be awarded as a "punishment" for the defendant's wrongful conduct. However, disabled individuals receiving SSI and Medicaid risk disqualification upon receipt of a lump sum settlement. In addition, Medicaid may have a right of recovery against the portion of settlement earmarked for medical care. To aviod disqualification from these important government benefits, an SNT can be established to accept the net settlement proceeds. The money placed in the SNT can then be used to purchase supplemental goods and services that enhance, rather than replace government benefits. Similar to the example above, SNT funds can be used to plan vacations for the disabled individual, to purchase specially equipped vehicles and to provide other comforts including consumer goods or beauty services.

Third Party SNTs . A third party special needs trust involves the same concepts as outlined above. However, the SNT is funded with the assets of a third party for the benefit of the disabled individual. For example, a grandparent, friend or other indvidual who is not legally responsible for the beneficiary can establist an SNT to pay for the supplemental needs of another. In addition to helping the disabled individual, a grantor who funds a third party SNT for the benefit of their disabled child may be able to partially avoid the five year lookback period for their own Medicaid qualification.

Worth Considering . Special needs trusts can be a powerful tool in planning for the continued care of a disabled individual or for helping the grantor achieve their own Medicaid eligibility. You may want to explore whether an SNT is right for you or for …

Tips For Organizing A Parade

Parades are a community gathering where units march along a designated route to the watchful eye of spectators. Parades are organized for a variety of reasons including to celebrate athletic championship victories, holidays, school events, festivals and grand openings of major businesses. Many have become annual events due to their popularity. Though parades only last a few hours a day, it requires weeks and sometimes months and years of advance planning to organize a successful event.

Complete all required paperwork and guidelines. Contact local authorities to receive the proper permits or clearance to hold a parade. Other responsibilities parade organizers may have include security and clean up. Ask local officials for further information or guidance on these and other possible issues to ensure you are in compliance with all regulations.

Set a date. Parades are held all year, primarily on the weekends. Select a date where there are not a lot of competing activities taking place. You want to establish a track record of good attendance should you decide to hold the parade on an annual basis.

Set rates for entry fees. To help cover the operation expenses, many organizers charge a fee for marching units to participate in the event. An exception is generally granted for public schools and government groups.

Hold a competition. One way to encourage groups to enter a parade is to make it a competitive event. Towards the end, though not the very end, of the parade route, set up a viewing stand with seating for dignitaries, invited guests and a panel of judges. Award prizes, such as trophies, to the best marching band, drum major and float, respectively. A judged event may generate more participation, media attention and public interest.

Decide what type of units to extend an invitation to. Floats, marching bands and equestrian units are staples of parades. Other ideas for units include dancers, musical groups, beauty queens and clowns and cyclists. A grand marshal is usually an honored guest who leads the parade. Use a car cover to prevent the vehicle the grand marshal is to ride in from getting dirty prior to the start of the parade. Further, make a list of the specific types of units you want to exclude from the event to avoid potential misunderstandings. A list of rules and regulations for the marching units to abide by should be provided to the marching units well in advance.

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