Money & Banking

India, top destination for remittances

C.J. Punnathara | Updated on November 20, 2017


India has emerged as the top destination for remittances in the world. The Gulf region continues to lead the table, accounting for the maximum number of Indian emigrants.

Despite the advent of the IT boom and the demand for qualified professionals from India, the Gulf continues to be the homing ground for middle class, lower middle class and working class Indians. The magic and attraction of this El Dorado has not waned.

But it was the emigration of skilled professionals in IT, medicine, engineering and other life sciences which dominated remittances during the middle of the last decade. Most of these migrants headed to the rich countries of the West – US, UK, Canada and other member countries of the EU. Their average salaries were huge by Indian standards and so was the average remittances back home.

And, by the end of the last decade, India became the top destination for remittances in the world. It was a spectacular growth with remittances more than tripling in a matter of eight years. Remittances which were at $13.1 billion in 2000-01 spiralled to $46.4 billion in 2008-09.

Since the growth was accounted for in dollar terms, it has already discounted the erosion in the value of the rupee during the period. In effect, the growth was real.

If we take an 18-year time span, the growth was all the more salutary. Remittances surged by over 20 times during this period. We seem to have come a long way from the desultory days when migrants were identified with menial labour in the Gulf. Indian emigrants have grown in stature, so have remittances.

Published on May 20, 2012

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