Remittance Sent by Overseas Indians Dropped in 2016-17

A decline of $8.53 billion in remittance inflow was recorded between 2014-15 and 2016-17, according to the Indian government.


A drop of $8.53 billion was recorded in remittance inflow between 2014-15 and 2016-17, the Indian government informed the Lok Sabha on April 4.

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, in a written reply to a question, said that in the financial year 2014-15, $69.82 billion was sent by Indians settled overseas. In 2015-16, the remittance was $65.59 billion, while in 2016-17, it stood at $61.29 billion, Singh said, PTI reported. From April to September 2017, around $33.47 billion remittance was received by India, Singh added.

On March 15, Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that the economic slowdown and job losses in the Gulf region, arising out of an unprecedented fall in crude oil prices, might have resulted in the decline of remittances.

According to the minister, there are 31.23 million overseas Indians spread across different countries, with a majority of them living in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia.

The decline in remittances to India can be attributed to a drop in the number of Indian blue-collared workers seeking employment overseas, according to data released by the Ministry of External Affairs, Overseas Employment division. A total of 391,024 Indians were given emigration clearances to work overseas in 2017, as compared to 520,938 in 2016. In 2015, the number of clearances given was 784,152. The number of emigration clearances given until February 2018 was 60,300, while the corresponding figure in 2015 was 146,163. Indians traveled for work to 18 countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.

The trend that the number of Indian workers flying overseas for employment is going down can be seen from the 2016 figures. A total of 163,716 Indian workers went to the UAE for work that year, while 165,355 people went to Saudi Arabia, followed by Kuwait (72,384) and Oman (63,236). In 2017, 149,962 Indians went to the UAE, while 78,611 went to Saudi Arabia, followed by Kuwait (56,380), and Oman (53,332).

While there is declining trend in the remittances sent by overseas Indians, a sharp rise was seen in the outflow of remittances from individual residents of India during the month of January 2018. This set a new record, with $1.2 billion being sent abroad, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The outflow was as much as $8.17 billion between April 2017 and January 2018, the Economic Times reported, citing the RBI figures. The figure has more than doubled from the same period last year as more people are paying for children’s education in universities overseas, foreign tourism and spending money on gifting relatives staying abroad, the statistics showed. As much as $4.6 billion was sent by Indians overseas during the first 10 months of 2016-17.

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