Impact of VAT
Impact of VAT on small businesses in the UAE

United Arab Emirates, previously considered a tax haven, has introduced 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) from 1st January 2018. The statutory authorities have stipulated that any firm having an annual turnover of Dh375000 or greater is required to register for VAT. In the recent months there has been a scramble for registration, considering the hefty fine of Dh20000 for non-compliance.

Small business owners and middle class families are worried about the rise in prices and how it will affect their standard of living.


As individual enterprises, companies will incur VAT at every stage in the supply chain. But one of the benefits of value added tax is that businesses which purchase goods and services from each other can register as a group for the purpose of taxation. One representative firm can take on the responsibility of complying with the regulations. The companies remain separate entities and the handshake is limited to tax liabilities. This is especially beneficial for small businesses as it prevents duplication of tax.

Restructuring is another way to reduce the effects of value added tax on business. When a company is purchasing raw products on a regular basis from another firm for further processing; the two can join forces to form one entity. The cost of purchasing raw material reduces to 0%. The funds saved can be used fruitfully for statutory tax compliance.

Following a traditional pattern of tax savings, small firms must invest in employee group health insurance schemes. Even if the organizations have to pay premiums, the long term effect is good. When employees are insured they feel safer in the workplace. This will result in improved efficiency, higher production and better annual turnover; thus compensating for the tax burden.


Up until a decade ago, the authorities in UAE had depended solely on escalating prices of crude oil to generate revenue. With the rising popularity of alternative fuels, there has been a steady reduction in demand for petroleum. It is imperative for the GCC countries to look for other sources of revenue to maintain the same standard of living.

Any palpable decline in the standard of living that global tourists expect of the UAE; will mean less tourists and consequently reduced turnover for businesses. Small enterprises rely heavily on tourism for sustainable income.

According to the Undersecretary to the Ministry of Finance, His Excellency Younis Haji Al-Khouri, with 5% VAT the anticipated revenue is AED10-12bn in the first year itself.

This will definitely have a positive impact on the economy as a whole. The revenue can be used for improving/maintaining infrastructure, enhancing tourism and making businesses more self-sufficient.


To cover the burden of VAT businesses will have to increase the prices of their products and services. The tax will be passed on to the consumer. Some firms may lose a few of their clientele. But this negative response will last for a short period. Most buyers are creatures of habit. If they are accustomed to certain goods and services they will definitely return.


Whenever a company has to comply with tax related statutory regulations, it has to maintain numerous records that clearly define:

  • Working capital and cash flow,
  • Operational costs,
  • Stages of supply chain,
  • Marketing strategies and pricing,
  • Accounting and taxation.

Documentation and reporting will increase the annual expenditure of the small concern.

On the other hand, the VAT imposed in the UAE will promote transparency and honesty among the business community and will improve the credibility of small business firms. This will in turn lead to a more evolved economy, better customer relationships and increased profits.

Therefore, it is crucial for small business owners to be well informed about VAT. Computation of value added tax is not an easy process. The best way to avoid any non-compliance issues is to seek professional advice. An advisor can help the firms with the complicated procedures of registration for VAT and related documentation, without jeopardizing their current business goals and objectives. In this transitional phase, firms specializing in Value Added Tax advisory are the safest bet for small businesses.

LMS – the Best Way to Retain Your Job and Study

Online Courses
Learning Management Systems

Why take a break in service when you can study a course through Learning Management Systems (LMS) and retain your job? LMS is a software application that can deliver education and training online, as well as document, track and report your progress. Learning management system education gives you the freedom to study whenever you are off-duty. Some examples of LMSs are SAP, aTutor, Google Classroom, CallidusCloud, JoomlaLMS, etc.

Learning Management System Benefits

Being cloud-based, Learning Management Systems do not require storage space on multiple locations. The data from one remote server can be accessed by instructors and students from anywhere in the world, after proper authentication.

Printed course materials, instructors’ travel fees, coaching classes, your cost of travelling to class, etc are some of the major expenses that are eliminated. LMS education doesn’t require students to purchase specific hardware. E-Learning platforms are accessible on desktops, laptops, tablets as well as smartphones. Hence, the Learning management systems cost is much lower than traditional school courses.

Considering the different time zones of various nations studying via LMS is very convenient. Whether you are in America or Japan, Scandinavia or Australia; you can log into your courseware at a time that suits you.

LMS education and testing is carried out through quizzes, simulations, and pseudo-classroom interactive (video-conferencing) methods, making it an enjoyable experience.

Study material can be very easily modified by the developers to comply with the latest changes in the courses. Hence, the course content is always up-to-date.

Majority LMSs are integrated with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Students can use message boards, forums and social media groups, where input from other members could be helpful.

Importance of learning management system lies in the fact that students have the freedom to study at any time and at their own pace. There is no age limit to enrol for a LMS course. Also, there is no need to give up the current job to acquire more knowledge.

Low Cost Fun Filled Activities for Long Weekends


Long weekends can be boring if we don’t have an interesting activity planned in advance. Costly air fares and resorts do not fit into everybody’s budgets. People have different priorities where spending is concerned.

Weekends is the time to for some solo activities or for quality time with family and friends. Here are few Low cost weekend activities that you can enjoy this year.

Celebrate life!

The Driving Force



Anant Chaturdashi is over. We all witnessed the thousands that thronged to bid farewell to their favorite ‘Bappa’ at Girgaum Chowpatty seashore in Mumbai and at other water bodies all over Maharashtra. What is the driving force?

The Driving Force: JOY

I was wondering what draws so many people of all ages, castes and creeds (even religions) to worship this unusual looking and unique Deity for ten whole days with matchless enthusiasm.

‘Rock’ and/or other music festivals, sports World Cups or ‘Mind, Body, Soul camps draw the same!

One common thread brings them and binds them together – they feel shared JOY.

The Deity:

Such a Deity that gives so much joy right from its creation out of ‘Shaadu clay’ to its immersion that vibrates the waters, must surely emit so much of positivity.

A renowned scientist friend from the USA once shared with us that he showed a 3 dimensional model of the carbon atom to his spiritual master, telling Her that when viewed from its left side, you could see the ‘Swastik’ while from the right, what you saw was the ‘Om’. Both symbols of Shri Ganesh!

His Guru then told him to view the same from the top and bottom. And to his amazement and awe, what showed up was that from the top, it resembled the Alpha and from the bottom, the Omega – both Symbols of Lord Jesus. She left it to him to conclude!!

Some subtle facts about Shri Ganesh:

  1. He is the Primordial Sound-the ‘Omkara’ that resonated throughout the Universe when the Adishatki-the Primordial Energy set out to Create.
  2. Shri Ganesh governs the base chakra, the Mooladhara Chakra within the human being. So, He is the root of the tree of self-knowledge.
  3. He protects His Mother Kundalini(Shri Gauri) within the Sacrum bone, from any unauthorized spiritual methods.
  4. The qualities within a devotee that please Him, are innocence (lack of guile, simplicity), chastity (in thought, word and deed) and purity.
  5. The qualities that He bestows on a devotee when pleased are wisdom (intelligence + love?), discretion and auspiciousness.
  6. He in fact, clears the path of spiritual ascent on every chakra since He grants auspiciousness to all of them. (On a material level, this auspiciousness translates as all the conditions necessary for ‘Creation’ to happen!

Interesting, isn’t it?


We see Shri Ganesh as the Eternal Child and as a ‘little’ deity.

But if we understand the meaning of the ‘Atharvasheersha’- a very powerful shloka that describes this Deity, we realize that in fact, this ‘small’ idol represents the whole of Creation! So, we all, in fact, reside within the ‘being’ of Shri Ganesh, this Driving Force!

Janmashtami – Birthday Of Lord Krishna

Krishna 1

Happy Janmashtami readers (24 August 2016 midnight). Scriptures say that it was raining very heavily in villages of Gokul and Mathura at the time of Krishna’s birth. The weather in Pune seems fitting – after 10 days of bright sunlight it started pouring today. A perfect welcome for the Lord…

Krishna 3

Lord Krishna, a symbol of love, romance, mischief and wisdom.

Let us celebrate Janmashtami by praying for joy, peace and harmony.

Krishna 2

 Images: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and Festivals of India.

Happy Navroz To The Most Peace Loving Community

Navroz Mubarak

With so many incidents of strife and terrorism across the globe; it would be unfair not to mention a community that has followed a live-and-let-live policy since ancient times. The Zoroastrians of India are the most peace-loving people, enviably so. They are believed to have migrated from Persia into India 800 years ago, and have lived praiseworthy lives ever since.


From the British Raj in India till today, Parsis have written their own destinies. From chemicals to nuclear power, medicine to heavy industry, philanthropy to armed forces; actors to playwrights, artists to architects; machine tools to information technology, in every field you will find a Zoroastrian who has an exceptional record. To name a few:

Industrialists, to name a few Tata, Godrej and Wadias group of companies,
Philanthropists like the Jeejeebhoy family,
Scientits – Bulsaras, Poonawallas and others,
Sam Manekshaw, the first Indian to be awarded the most prestigious rank Field Marshal,
And the list goes on…

Despite the fact that Parsis are a small community, they have been actively involved in the development of India as a nation.


When you meet the Parsis in India, the first thing that comes to mind is how well behaved they are. The men are gentlemanly and the women are true ladies.

Also, they never get involved in any religious or political controversies. They exemplify peace and harmony! Now isn’t that a rare quality in the modern day scenario?

Generosity is part of their genetic framework. You will find more Parsis involved in philanthropy than any other community in India. From free hospitals to education, they have made major contributions towards making our country a better place.



Indian flag

Flat 2


On the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day – 15th August 2016

We wake up with a sense of pride and excitement, eager to see the ‘Independence Day Special’ live and we feel passionately proud of our Mother India. So, let us all reflect on what feelings and thoughts the word ‘independence’ evokes within all of us?


A hundred years ago, Bharat craved, struggled and sacrificed scores of lives for Swatantra.

It may be meaningful if we introspect a little and recognize the ‘tantra’ of the ‘swa’- ourselves.

If each one of us looks within, we will realize that we require clearing out so many cobwebs; those of our prejudices, insecurities, fears, hatred, greed, temptation and pride, to name just a few.

Let us re-adopt and re-invent if required, those time-honored values that cemented us together – patriotism, commitment, sacrifice, brotherhood, integrity, honesty!

unity symbol

2.Independence versus Dependence:

There is a huge cultural chasm between India and other countries over this very issue.

In India, we are, even in these modern times, largely interdependent in our relationships between, say:

  • Parents/grandparents and children
  • Friends
  • Siblings (Raksha Bandhan celebrates this!)
  • Spouses
  • Work-relationships
  • Servant and master
  • Neighbours and community members

This dependence on each other is often a sweet bond of give and take, not necessarily and not always ‘business-like’;  in fact, sometimes it’s an exchange of only positive feelings!

(The risk: soppy sentimentality and impracticality)

In spite of this however, let us not summarily dismiss the value of dependence.

3.The other side:

In most other cultures, it is considered a sign of weakness to not be self-dependent. At home- the parents; at school-the teachers; at work places-the mentor; all work towards making the child or individual more and more independent.

(The risk: self-dependence leading to self-sufficiency leading to self-centeredness leading to selfishness! Phew!!)


It’s hard to conclude which cultural norm is better. While one fosters self-confidence and individual thinking-even research; the other builds close relationships.

At a global level today, a sense of collectivity becomes an essential world-view! To wrap up, I can say that ‘Independence’ is more important if it signifies the independence of the ‘spirit’, an indomitable spirit that fears nothing, that can stand up to ‘truth’ with complete confidence and that can ‘love’ without holding back.

Royal Bengal Tiger – Our Tryst With His Highness

Tiger 1

The Royal Bengal Tiger is an elusive creature. Some return to their hometown with just a glimpse of his/her Highness or no sighting at all!

In 2006, like most tourists we visited the Kanha National Park with great hopes of a tiger sighting. And we were in luck! My teenage daughter shot these videos from a moving jeep while his Highness followed with his characteristic regal gait. We are not professional wildlife photographers, so this chance sighting was a real treat and an awesome experience!


We saw plenty of other wild animals like Indian Chital (spotted deer), monkeys, peacocks, Gaur (Indian Bison), etc. They have their own beauty and attraction, but tend to get overshadowed by the tiger. Here are some glimpses of our memorable trip:








Banana fritters 2


Plantains and bananas are tropical fruits that belong to the same family but are slightly different. Plantains are mainly grown in India. They need to be cooked while ripe bananas can be eaten right off the tree.

They are a rich source of potassium, vitamins A and C and carbohydrates. They give plenty of dietary fiber and are great energy boosters. They can be bought and cooked while green or yellow or even when the skin starts turning darker (almost blackish!). The taste and texture is quite different at each stage of its ripening and it is cooked differently.

Today, we look at a tasty recipe that is not too difficult, yet appetizingly yummy! It may be had as a snack or a dessert.

This is a traditional recipe with a few improvisations.


1.Large Yellow ripe Plantains: 3

2.Fresh scraped coconut: 1 cup

3.Sugar: 3 tablespoons

4.Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp

5.All-purpose wheat flour(maida): 1/2 cup

6.Cornflour: 1 tablespoon.

7.Water: to make a medium thin batter

8.Salt: a pinch

9. Oil for frying

10. Powdered sugar or honey for the drizzle

Banana fritters 1


  1. Peel the plantains and cut into 3 pieces each.
  2. In each piece, make a slash for the filling.
  3. Combine coconut, sugar and cardamom powder lightly with a fork.(1/4 teaspoon of saffron or nutmeg could be added if desired)
  4. Stuff about 1 teaspoonful of the above filling into each piece of plantain.
  5. In a bowl, make a medium-thin batter with the flour, cornflour, water and a pinch of salt.
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan or wok.
  7. When oil is hot, fry the plantains till golden brown on both sides.
  8. Drain on a tissue. (Dab with tissue to remove extra oil.)
  9. While serving, drizzle with powdered sugar or honey.

This dish may be served piping hot or cold, both taste awesome!