Can you provide information on shopping abroad?

We do not give information on seasonal sales abroad as the time period and nature of offers vary...

Print Edition: April 2, 2009

I recently went to London on a business trip and discovered that many hotels were offering attractive discounts to tourists as was mentioned in your story (The Globe on a Bargain, 5 March). In fact, one could also pick up several branded goods at a bargain. I think you should give information on shopping opportunities in foreign countries as well.
- Mridula Rai, Mumbai

The article talked about souvenirs that can be bought at reasonable prices abroad such as shisha pipes in Dubai. However, we do not give information on seasonal sales abroad as the time period and nature of offers vary and are difficult to track. We are, however, carrying a story on discounts on branded wear in India in our current issue.

In the section on insurance for women (Tax-saving Covers, 5 March) it is mentioned that 40% of the corpus is tax-exempt on vesting. The balance is structured into an annuity, which is treated as income and taxed accordingly. However, I think only 33% of the corpus is tax-exempt. Please clarify.
- Gaurav Kamath, e-mail

Till some years ago, car insurers were committed to paying the entire compensation ordered by the court for the death of or bodily injury to any person by the car of the insured person. Please let me know if this rule is still applicable.
- K.M. Lal, Delhi

Up to 33% of the corpus can be withdrawn tax-free on vesting. The rest is used to buy annuities, which is treated as income. However, some insurers allow a higher withdrawal of up to 40%, though tax is exempt on 33% of the corpus. Regarding the query on car insurance, the rule that insurers must pay the entire compensation decided by the courts has been discontinued since 2005.

Your story on the new pension scheme (Make Haste Slowly, 19 March) was very timely. It will certainly help readers to make an informed choice after the scheme comes into force.
- Bal Govind, Noida

The latest instalment of Rule Reversal shed light on a topical debate—whether it is a good time for purchasing property (To be a Landlord or a Tenant? 19 March). I wish to invest in a small apartment and sell it after four to five years. Your story explained why it is better to wait for the expected dual benefits of lower property prices and softer loan rates.
- Devang Tripathi, Varanasi

We are glad that you found the story useful. However, there is another qualification to this rule. First-time home buyers shouldn’t necessarily wait for a drop in property prices unless it is an absolute certainty. Even then, they must factor in the rent for the period that they are likely to wait for a fall in property prices. If the expected benefit is equivalent to the cumulative rent, then they should buy the house.

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