Expats must pay dependents’ fees before Iqama renewal or re-entry visa

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The General Directorate of Passports of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that the issuance of exit/re-entry visas for expatriates and the renewal of residence permits will not be made unless fees levied on dependents of foreign workers are paid in advance.
Government agencies including banks have either updated or are updating their technical platforms for accepting these fees.

The new fee for dependents of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia went into force July 1, which was announced by the Ministry of Finance last year in a step to balance in the budget.
In December 2016, the Saudi Council of Ministers passed a series of decisions aimed to increase state revenues to offset the impact of the fall in oil prices. According to the decision, the fees start at SR100 ($27) for each dependent per month and it will increase to SR200 after July 2018, and SR300 and SR400 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Based on government estimates, fees on expatriate’s dependents will yield some SR1 billion by the end the current year, while fees on dependents and levies on foreign workers at private sector companies will achieve SR24bn, SR44bn and SR65bn in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. The fees will be paid annually when a residence permit is sent for renewal or the expatriate worker seeks a re-entry visa.
According to the local media, dependents are categorized as follows: A wife (or wives), sons, daughters, parents, wife’s father or mother, house workers, and drivers who are registered under the name of a sponsor, namely expatriates working in commercial companies.

Checking Originality of Cement?

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There are many manufacturers (branded and local brands) producing cement in India. Be aware before you buy cement as it is one of the prime construction materials of structural importance, any lapse in its selection and use, can lead to catastrophic effect.

As license for the use of standard mark is granted by Bureau of Indian Standard to the manufactures/producers only after fulfilling certain set of criteria, always look for particular IS code number printed on the cement bags in black color.

If cement bags are of OPC 53 grade cement, “IS-12269-1987” should be printed on the cement bags and if cement bags are Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), “IS 1489-1991” should be printed on the cement bags.

To check cement bags duplication, a set of information/marking has to be printed on a standard cement bag as per Indian standard norms provisions.

Each bag of cement shall be legibly and permanently marked with the following, which may be taken note of at the time of purchasing or receiving cement bags:

  • See the manufacturer’s name and his registered trade-mark.
  • The words Ordinary Portland Cement, 53Grade (for OPC 53 Grade) or whichever is applicable as per its type and/or grade.
  • The words ‘Use no Hooks’
  • Batch/control unit number in terms of week, month and year of packing.
  • Address of the manufacturer and
  • The Type and percentage of performance improver(s) added, in a case of addition of performance improvers.

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Quick Quality Checks of Cement on Site:

Quick Quality Checks gives useful idea about cement quality based on its color, touch and feel and other tests.

At Retailer End :

  • Purchase the cement from authorized company retail stores only.
  • Check the stitching of cement bag and ensue the cement bag has not been re-stitched.
  • Check the week number and year of the manufacturing which is printed on the cement bags. Please don’t purchase cement bags manufactured 3 month before the purchased date.
  • Relevant ISI mark on the cement bags.
  • Condition of the bags should be good (no hook marks) and stored at moisture free area in cement store.

At User End (Site):

  • Open the bag and take a good look at the cement. There should not be any visible lumps.
  • The colour of the cement should normally in greenish grey.
  • Thrust hand into the cement bag. It must be giving you a cool feeling.
  • Take a pinch of cement and feel-between the fingers. It should give a smooth and If it is felt rough, it indicates adulteration with sand.
  • Taka a handful of cement and throw it on a bucket full of water, the particle should float for some time before they sink.

OPC Vs PPC Cement

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OPC 53 Grade Cement:

OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement) is the basic form of cement with 95% cement clinkers and 5% being gypsum.

Gypsum is as an additive to increase the setting time of the cement to a workable 30 minutes or more.

OPC Cement gives high compressive strength at early ages and at 28 days. A 53 Grade cement gives up to 70 MPa strength against a minimum 53 MPa specified by BIS. So, We can also mix fly ash (at least 20% by weight of cement) in concrete as part replacement of cement at site. This is not only to save on material cost of concrete but also to achieve durable properties due to pore refinement (Less porous concrete). The concrete thus prepared also has increased work-ability and higher strength at later ages.

 

Recommended use for OPC 53 Grade Cement:

Since it gains early strength and has cost saving advantages as discussed above, OPC 53 Grade cement is generally recommended for Structural Concrete or Reinforced Concrete Works (like Columns, Beams, Slab etc.,)

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PPC (Fly Ash Based) Cement:

On the other hand, PPC (Portland Pozzolana Cement) is made up of 75 – 77% cement clinker, 20% flyash and 3-5% gypsum.

Recommended use for PPC:

Flyash based cement (PPC) is recommended for brick masonry, plastering, tiling and waterproofing works. In these works, strength is not the major criteria. PPC has an edge on OPC as PPC has slower rate of heat of hydration. Thereby PPC is prone to less cracks & reduced shrinkage), better workability and finishing (as fly ash based cement are spherical in shape and finer in size).

Note: Both OPC and PPC can be a substitute to each other but only with better quality control and by adopting best construction practices.

Tips: Adopt an economical option while choosing which type of cement has to be used for house building.

 

 

VIP car number in Delhi sells for record Rs 16 lakh in govt auction

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The hottest number in town is “0001” and it carries a price tag of Rs 16 lakh.

A private hospitality company called Palm Land Hospitality Pvt. Ltd became the owner of this unique numbered car during the Delhi government’s e-auction for fancy registration numbers for cars. The number that is popularly considered to be a status symbol for man, had 30 bidders.

The sought-after “0001” series sold for Rs 12.50 lakh in September 2014 and fetched Rs 12.10 lakh in next year’s auction in the city.

The auction brings a windfall to the government’s exchequer and gratifies people’s desire for special digits on number plates — from date of birth to astrological and numerological numbers that are believed to bring prosperity.

“In just six months we earned Rs 54.70 lakh by selling 29 fancy registration numbers. Last year, we sold 151 and earned Rs 2.29 crore. The demand increases during winters and the festive season such as Diwali when car sales also peak,” said KK Dahiya, the city’s special commissioner of transport.

According to officials, the demand for fancy number plates has escalated over the years, especially after the auction was made fully online and after the red and blue beacons were banned this year. The Delhi government has therefore been conducting such auctions from 2014 to increase its revenues. Earlier the allotment of such numbers was purely discretionary.