Since the value of the Rupee fell against the dollar there has been
a surge in remittances
from NRIs in the Gulf in the last couple of weeks, especially as
the festival season is on back home. Exchange houses and banks in the
region have reported that the fall in the value of the rupee, coupled
with the ongoing Islamic holy month of Ramadan and Kerala's harvest
festival Onam, have contributed to the increase in remittances to India
by around 25 per cent. "Our average monthly remittance to India
is around Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) but we expect this to go up
to around Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 25 billion) this month (September),"
Sudhir Shetty, chief operating officer of UAE Exchange, one of the largest
exchange houses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), told IANS.
As of Thursday, the day before the weekend starts here, one US dollar
fetched around Rs 46. With most currencies in the region linked to the
dollar, expatriates are happy to get the increased rupee amounts they
are getting for the same amount of local currency that they remit every
month. "The positive swing is more due to Ramadan and Onam and
other festivities than the effect of rupee value," Shetty said.
"A lion's share of remittances consists of small ticket blue-collar
transactions for family support. They can't withhold or send more with
variations in monetary value. Big-ticket white-collar transactions send
even through other channels including banks and might have local savings,"
he pointed out.
Bank of Baroda, the only Indian public sector bank to have operations
in the UAE, has also seen a rise in remittances through its branches
here. According to a World Bank report this year, India is the highest
receiver of remittances from abroad. Around 5.7 million Indians from
across the world sent $27.