Remittances to India touch $22 billion

New Delhi, Oct 25 | Updated: Oct 26 2006, 05:30am hrs
Remittances to India have touched $22 billion, up from $14 billion in 2004. The total corpus is likely to further go up to $30 billion in the next two years, industry analysts said.

Money changing in India as well as abroad, is, however, primarily carried out by small players who enjoy about 80% marketshare, while the organised sector comprising Western Union, MoneyGram apart from banks have the remaining 20%.

The number of Indians going abroad is increasing every year and the money coming into the country in the form of remittances is also swelling, MoneyGram International country manager Harsh Lambah said.

Invest India Economic Foundation director Gautam Bhardwaj said a sizeable chunk of remittances is not directed through any financial channels or banks. A large number of households get cash directly from their relatives or visitors which is unaccounted for, he added.

Primarily remittances are flowing in from the US, UK and also from the west Asian countries. The size of each is, however, comparatively small from the Gulf countries as most of the non-resident Indians (NRIs) in that region form the labour class. Size of each remittance from the US and European countries is larger.

NRIs who go to the US or UK generally hold relatively good posts in the corporate world and naturally the size is larger, Lambah said, adding the number is all set to increase. The number of households receiving remittances in the southern part of the country is relatively high compared to the north. Though the size is small, number of households getting remittances is very high, an analyst pointed out.

Apart from India, remittances are also high in China and Mexico. China receives remittances to the tune of $18-20 billion annually, while it is $17-18 billion in Mexico.