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Fall in rupee raises remittances from Gulf
Saturday, September 27, 2008

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.



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