INDIA DAY, Sunday, 14th August 2016, Parramatta

 

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN)

invites you

to

come and enjoy 

INDIA DAY Fair: to celebrate Indian Independence Day on Sunday, 14th August, 2016

24A O’Connell St, Parramatta NSW 2150

FREE EVENT


facebook_post_4.jpg

 INDIA DAY 2016 JULY 24 FINAL.jpg

 

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/16th July, 2016

0413 375 669

fianinc1@gmail.com

http://www.fian.org.au

http://www.facebook.com/fianinc

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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Ramadan Mubarak to the Muslim community

Sydney, Australia

7th June, 2016

I wish a blessed Ramadan to my friends of Islamic Faith and their families.

May almighty God accept your fasting.
May almighty God accept your good deeds.
May almighty God shower his blessings on you and your family this month.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan Kareem!

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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Learn HINDI in Sydney

Sydney, NSW

23rd May, 2016

Hindi learning

I am very happy to inform everyone that Consulate General of India, Sydney has agreed to my request to start Hindi teaching classes during weekends. Our lobbying has succeeded.

These classes can start from mid June 2016.

Details:

  • Saturdays
  • 2.30-4.30 PM
  • Students will pay only $5/hour ($40 for 10 lessons of one hour duration)
  • Teachers will be paid a reasonable hourly rate which will be commensurate  with their experience and training
  • Address: Indian Cultural Centre, Level 1, 265 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000 http://cgisydney.org/

Please contact icc-moumita@indianconsulatesydney.org or hindi@indianconsulatesydney.org for enrolment and if interested to teach Hindi.

Potential teachers should send their CV to the email above.

Gratitude and sincere thanks to Consul General, The Hon B. Vanlalvawna for his help, support and assistance.

Happy to help, if needed. Don’t hesitate to contact and network.

Dr Yadu Singh

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dryadusingh@gmail.com

 

Travel Health Survey for Travellers to Indian Subcontinent

Sydney, NSW

14th May, 2016

This is an important health survey, conducted by UNSW and it is about people who travel to Indian Subcontinent.

I encourage you to participate in it.

Travel health Survey_Facebook image———————————————————————

Dear Dr Yadu,

Thank you very much for your email and support.

We would like to get your support in distributing the survey template via email (attached below). And, distribute the survey link via FIAN Facebook.

I think uploading the JPG image and including text in Facebook status will help us to get a large number of participants. The JPG image is attached and the text for FB status copy from below.

The School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales is conducting a travel health survey of travellers to Indian subcontinent.

Please participate in the online survey by clicking this link www.surveymonkey.com/r/TBY8657

and tell us about your travel health practices. After completing the survey, you can go into a draw for the chance to win one of two iPad minis.

Regards

Dr Prakash Paudel, PhD

Research Fellow

School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine

Room 225, Samuels Building, UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052 Australia


 

Dr Yadu Singh

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Highlights of Federal Budget 2016 and my comments

Sydney, NSW

4th May, 2016

Scott Morrison

Federal treasurer, Scott Morrison, presented his maiden budget in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, 3rd May, 2016.

Here are the key points of this budget.

Superannuation:

  • Lifetime cap of $500,000 for non-concessional contributions (NCC) made on/after 1/7/2007
  • Lifetime Cap will not be affected if there was already more than 500,000 NCC prior to 7.30 PM, 3/5/16.
  • This new NCC cap will replace previous contributions cap of up to $180,000/year (or $540,000 every three years for those who are less than 65 years age.
  • Catch up concessional contributions allowed if total superannuation balance is less than $500,000, and if they did not reach concessional contributions cap in previous years.
  • From 1/7/17, no tax exemption on earnings od assets supporting Transfer to Retirement Income Streams (TRIS). Such earnings will be taxed at 15%.
  • Currently, Superannuation account balance of any amount is tax free when it is in Pension phase. This will change. Only $1.6 million of this money into Pension phase will be tax free and money in excess of $1.6 million will be deemed to be in accumulation phase of superannuation and their earnings will be taxed at 15%.
  • Concessional contributions cap will be $25000 from 1/7/207. Until then, it will remain unchanged at $30000 for aged less than 50 years and $35000 for those who are older than 50 years.
  • Some restrictions to be removed for voluntary or NCC contributions for people aged 65-74 years.
  • Threshold for high Income earners who are required to pay 15% tax on contributions  will be reduced to $250,000 from $300,000 from 1/7/17.
  • Lump sum payments (up to $195,000 currently) during pension phase will be removed.
  • Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset for those with taxable income of up to 37,000, with a cap of $500.

Medicare Levy low Income thresholds for 2015-16 increased slightly for indivisuals and families.

Personal Income Tax rates:

  • 32.5% income tax threshold increased from $80,000 to $87,000. This will benefit about 500,000 taxpayers.

Increased Small Business Income Tax Offset (SBITO):

  • It will be increased to 8% from current 5%. This is available to individuals in receipt of income from an unincorporated small business of less than $2 million turnover.
  • 8% will be applicable for 8 years.

Company Tax rate:

  • By 1/7/26, it will be 25%.
  • It will be reduced to 27.5% from 1/7/16 for companies with less than $10 million turnover/year.
  • Turnover threshold for 27.5% company tax will increase every year. It will be $25 million for year 2017-18 and $50 million for 2018-19.
  • Turnover threshold keeps increasing as years pass by.

Small Business Entity (SBE) threshold increased:

  • Threshold turnover increased to $10 million from current $2 million.
  • Immediate deduction for assets purchased for less than $20,000 per item until 30/6/17.

Tax Avoidance Taskforce:

  • $678.9 millions provided to ATO to ensure compliance activities targeting multinationals, large public and private groups and high wealth individuals.
  • 40% Diverted Tax penalty for multinational corporations that attempt to shift their Australian profits offshore.

Investment on Science, innovation and research:

  • investing $9.7 billion in innovation, science and research to support Australia’s transition to a modern 21st century economy

Youth employment package:

  • $840 million in an innovative Youth Employment Package to help up to 120,000 young people over four years secure jobs.

GST on imported goods:

  • GST will be imposed to low value imported goods from 1/7/17.
  • Overseas suppliers with Australian sales of $75,000 or more will need to register for, collect and remit the GST.

Better protection of Tax whistle-blowers from 1/7/18.

No change in Negative gearing and Capital Gain Tax (CGT)

No change in work related expenses provisions

Cigarettes to become more expensive with higher excise duty (12.5% increase/year for 4 years).

Freeze on indexation on Medicare benefits for next 2 years:

  • it does not make any sense because everything which is required for medical/health servicing is becoming more expensive, but fees for such services are frozen. It is unfair.

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My comments:

  1. Considering the circumstances and proximity to election on 2/7/16, it is overall a safe and non-controversial, and overall a GOOD budget.
  2. Changes made in superannuation have impacted severely for some people, who are in the high wealth individuals category. This is the outcome of populism and with the purpose to counter scare campaign by the Opposition. These individuals (top 4% of Australians) are significant contributors to the economy, investment and businesses which create employment. These changes are quite drastic, and it would have been better to not bring such drastic changes (at least the magnitude and extent) affecting these individuals.
  3.  With substantial changes in superannuation and no changes in negative gearing and CGT, there is a risk that such high wealth individuals will divert their investment into real estate, with the potential outcome of higher prices. This may create obstacles for the entry of new home owners into the residential market.
  4. Reduction of concessional contributions to $25,000 is a wrong idea because our aim is to encourage Australians to save money for retirement. It should have instead been increased to  $50,000, which was the case a few years ago before Wayne Swan reduced it.
  5. Life time cap on NCC of $500,000 is not enough. It should have been at least $1 million.
  6. Companies are business and investment entities, used by most of the participants in the economic activities. This includes small business entities. They need to be supported more vigorously. Small businesses are a significant contributor of employment and business activities in Australia. Company tax reduction to 25% should have been done at a faster rate to accelerate business activities and job creation, and to make Australia an attractive place for investment from everywhere including overseas.
  7. My view is that the small business entities should be only those which have turnover of less than $2 million (Max $5 million), not $500 million or $1 billion.
  8. It appears that some people consider high earners as a punching bag. They forget that these are the very people who contribute in the economic activities of the nation significantly, creating jobs and paying taxes to be used for welfare, roads, education and hospitals. High earners need to be encouraged and supported, not used as a punching bag and disincentivized. Labor and Greens tend to do this all the times, but it appears that the Coalition is also now inclined that way to avoid the scare campaign by the opposition.
  9. Recognising that elections are happening on 2/7/16 and Government had to tread carefully for the sake of its own election, I can see why this budget is the way it is. It is a minimalist budget, except for superannuation changes, and reduces the chance of scare campaign against it like what happened after 2014 Budget.
  10. With mining boom truly over, Australia obviously needs to adapt to new realities and Australians will need to live within their means. Entitlement mentality will need to go. We have to accept that money does not grow on trees. Australia will need to face up the challenges to raise money for the funding of schools, hospitals and education. I support the commentary and proposal by Mike Baird, NSW Premier, in regards to hiking GST to raise money for the funding of essential services and to reduce budget deficits. The Government and the Opposition will need to discuss and come to a bipartisan agreement about our economy so that funding for services can be assured and quality of life of Australians can be guaranteed for years to come.

I have taken many points from a report published by NTAA (National Tax & Accountants’ Association newsletter sent out to their members, dated 3/5/16. I received a copy of this report from my accountant. NTAA is gratefully thanked and acknowledged.


We will hear the Budget reply and economic policies from the Leader of Opposition, Bill Shorten, on Thursday,  5th May, 2016.

*I am not a financial professional. This Post should not be taken as an advice. Please consult your accountant for any matter which might have relevance to you and your circumstances.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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Why we don’t have India Cultural Centre (India House) in Sydney?

Sydney, NSW

29th April, 2016

I wrote a Blog post on India House on 4th May, 2013. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/india-house-in-sydney-what-is-this-about-why-do-we-need-it/.

Then I posted an update on this subject  on 31st Aug, 2014. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/india-house-in-sydney-update/

We backed out of this project because every group wanted to make India House. We therefore decided to let them do it and promised to support them. Nothing has happened, and nothing is likely to happen, unfortunately. Its a sad situation.

People I speak with agree that it will be great to have Indian Cultural Centre (India House) in Sydney. They all feel that it has not happened because of division in the community. We have too many associations and too many leaders, most of whom do not have substance, capability, networking and vision. Everyone wants to do the same things- in parallel, not together. To make it worse, we have too many “senior” and several “very senior” leaders (75 years plus) who have been around for 3-4 decades, without much productivity. They have become a big hindrance. They must be persuaded to retire and allow a fresh start. “Me too” syndrome is harming us all as a community in more ways than one.

Let us do a quick review.

The Indian Australian community in Australia comprises of about 500,000 people, out of which about 160,000 reside in New South Wales. Ours is a growing community and about half of our people have migrated to Australia during the last ten years.

Every community is unique and has its special characteristics and requirements.  In this sense, we are no different from the other multicultural communities in Australia.   Many of these requirements can be fulfilled by a Community Centre (India House), which acts not only as the centre for all community/social interactions and mentoring/guiding services, but also for entertainment activities.  Private family occasions like weddings and other events can also take place there.  Any such centre should have sufficient space and facilities to cater to a range of activities.  This Centre should be able to self-sustain financially, and should be run professionally.

Despite being a major community, we do not have this  community Centre, which is in total contrast with other communities like Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Serbian, Croatian and others, many of which are smaller than ours, but do have such community premises.

India House has been talked about for more than 25 years but nothing obviously has happened. Talks and visions should have moved to something realistic and something fruitful by now, but it is yet to happen. We believe that it did not happen only because serious and sincere efforts were never made, and people who talked about it lacked the vision and leadership. “Me too” syndrome  among associations and “leaders” have been the biggest obstacle.

Indian Consulate General in Sydney has a place where smaller events can be done in some circumstances but its space is limited and its situation in CBD is not all that convenient. It can not substitute India House. This place should be in the Western Sydney, where most of Indian Australians live.

Projects of this nature require huge capital to make it happen.  We strongly believe that finances can be raised if there is a group of dedicated & committed people in our community who have integrity, vision, determination, perseverance, willingness and capacity to work on the plan for 5-7 years. The fund raising components must have multiple components, and it should include fairs, charity drives, direct contributions from the community, and also sponsorships from governments and businesses.

Our initial spadework informs us that there is sufficient goodwill for this huge venture in our community. We recognise that the biggest hurdle in this huge task is the distrust community members have towards community groups/leaders because they have not been transparent, accountable and result oriented, and in fact, some have used their groups for financial benefits. To make it worse, some have become branches of political parties. It is a common knowledge that finances generated from events, small and large, have often been mismanaged and possibly misused. The fund sourcing process therefore must remain ethical, transparent and must be supervised by at least three reputed finance professionals. This fund-raising must have the charity status and tax concessions.

As I see it, there is a need for a nodal group of 20 key people who will do the initial work, using the expertise in law, planning, project work, finance, Real Estate, accounting and marketing among others. They will work without charging any remuneration.

This project would need meetings with community representatives/leaders, key members of Indian community and businessmen, and members of media with the purpose of brain storming, exchanging ideas, revising and fine tuning the project. Media is so essential for this project and this project will have to be an “inclusive” work as far as practicable.

The Project should be super headed by a management committee, Board of Trustees and Advisory Council, and will have membership with defined benefits of such membership. The guiding principle will and must always be transparency, accountability and proper governance with an added motto of “service with integrity”.

Can we expect our community groups to take this project earnestly and start the process afresh?  Can we make a fresh start?  Can we collaborate? My friends and I are happy to support a group of this nature and their work, provided this group has people with integrity, ability, capacity, networking and vision.  This is a project for the whole community. 

Leadership is open and available here.

Please come forward and show us the leadership.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/29th April, 2016

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You can give the gift of life and be a Bone Marrow Donor for Sujith

Sujith is a 35 years old fellow from Perth who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in November 2015. He has had several courses of chemotherapy. He needs a Bone Marrow Donor for a successful and complete treatment to survive this aggressive Leukaemia.

You can help if;

  • you are in the age bracket of 18-45 years
  • you are from South Asian background
  • you are matched as a suitable Bone Marrow Donor

A dedicated group of volunteers have organised these drives in Perth and Melbourne. Sydney Donor Drive is at:

Billiard Hall, Toongabbie Community Centre,

244 Targo Road,

Toongabbie, NSW

14th May, 2016.

1.00 to 5.00 PM

Step 1: Prior to May 14: If you are ready to join the registry, please contact one of the coordinators listed on the flyer either by phone or email to pre-register your interest. You will need to provide them with your full name, year of birth and contact phone number. Please note that Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) prefers all participants to be pre- registered, to ensure they can plan appropriately and be properly staffed for the event. Once pre-registered, you will be notified via email or text what your time slot is for that day.

Step 2: On the day, please arrive a few minutes prior to your allocated slot. There will be a one-on-one information session (approx 2 to 3mins) between the donor and ABMDR where you can ask any questions you may have and they will guide you through the process. There will be some paperwork to complete.

Step 3: Approximately 10ml of blood will be collected.

Finally, Light Refreshments will be provided.

Afterward, you can return home knowing that you and the other registrants may have played a part in giving someone like Sujith a truly wonderful gift: The Gift of Life.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinators, listed in the Flyer.

More info: https://www.facebook.com/BoneMarrowSujith/


Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/26th April, 2016

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Consular grievance management system is a great service for overseas Indians

Sydney, NSW

22nd April, 2016

Consular grievance management system is an initiative by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Sushma Swaraj EAM.jpg

This will be useful for overseas Indians. Do use it, if needed.

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Details are here: http://www.madad.gov.in/AppConsular/welcomeLink


Dr Yadu Singh

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