United Nations June 15, 2017: Indians working overseas sent home $62.74 billion last year, an increase of 68.6 percent in the last decade, according to a UN agency.
India received the most overseas remittances last year, a report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) issued on Tuesday said.
The money sent by Indians overseas amounted to 3.3 percent of India’s gross domestic product, the report said.
Gulf countries were the primary destination for Indian workers going abroad and the US was a “popular destination”.
The US was the country from which most remittances – $3.6 billion – were made, the IFAD said.
Releasing the report, “Sending Money Home: Contributing to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), One Family at a Time”, IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo spoke of the impact the remittances had on improving the living standards of families in the home countries.
“The small amounts of $200 or $300 that each migrant sends home make up about 60 per cent of the family’s household income, and this makes an enormous difference in their lives and the communities in which they live,” he said.
More than 800 million family members are benefiting from the remittances by over 200 million migrant workers, the IFAD said. This year every one-in-seven persons in the world will either send or receive a share of the $450 billion transferred globally.
“Remittances are expected to remain a stable source of finance to meet the immediate needs and aspirations of millions of families around the world,” the report added.
Even though the average cost of sending money home has decreased from about 10 percent in 2008 to 7.45 percent, it still takes a big chunk out of the remittances. The UN development goals want it to be brought down further to 3 per cent by 2030, the IFAD mentioned in its report.
“If legal and regulatory frameworks facilitate the use of technology and innovation, mobile phones, digital money, Internet-based mobile and Web applications will continue to drive costs down, strengthen financial access, and improve the possibility to deliver additional services,” the report added. (IANS)