NRIs remit 21 billion USD back home last year
Kochi, Apr 5 (UNI) With India overtaking China as the largest recipient of remittances from abroad, non-resident Indians sent more than 21 billion dollars back home last year, according to the latest World Bank Report, Western Union Services India Managing Director Anil Kapur said today.
Addressing a press conference here to announce a special scheme for money transfer from the UAE to Kerala, Mr Kapur said China had the highest number of diaspora in the world while India ranked second. However, India had overtaken China a couple of years ago in receiving non-resident remittances.
" As per estimates, Chinese remittances would be about five to ten per cent less than India," he added.
Stating that remittances constituted three per cent of the Indian GDP, Mr Kapur said at present these were double the FDI received by the country and were playing a vital role in its development.
With over one million Keralites in the UAE alone, Kerala was among the highest recipients of remittances in India and the Western Union was offering a special scheme for the next six months, whereby a non-resident Keralite could send upto 3,000 US Dollars back home at a charge of only 15 Dirhams as against the normal charge of 25 Dirhams.
At a live demonstration of Western Union operations at the press conference, Mr P A Abdul Rasheed, a resident of Ernakulam, received Rs 25,000 from Mr P V Abdul Wahab, a prominent industrialist and Rajya Sabha MP, who is currently in Dubai.
Mr Kapur said Western Union was present at 2,70,000 locations in 200 countries. In India, it had 25,000 locations in 5,000 towns, cities and rural areas. Of these, 2,000 were in Kerala.
Stating that there was a ''huge corridor of business between the Gulf and Kerala,'' Mr Kapur said Kerala was among the top five markets in India in terms of business for the Western Union.
Ms. Shobha Koshy, Chief Post Master General, Central Region, Kerala, said the Department of Posts had in a "path-breaking initiative" tied up with Western Union to work as its agent as there was a "complementarity of services".
At present, 5,500 post offices in the country offered Western Union money transfer services. "With the post offices always being associated with financial services such as money orders and small saving schemes, this tie-up was a natural progression for us," she added.
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