Remittances to the country by non-resident Indians rose 12% on year to about $100 billion in 2022, underscoring the surge in demand for Indian professionals globally after the pandemic, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.
“Post-pandemic, people thought probably Indian workers will not go back abroad again. They have not only gone back, but more have gone for very useful employment and the remittance numbers have gone up by 12% within one year,” Sitharaman said addressing the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Remittances to India were $89.4 billion in 2021. India continues to be the top recipient of remittances globally for the last several years.
India is becoming a knowledge hub of the world, she said, lauding the contribution of NRIs to the Indian economy.
For the next 25 years, India is focusing on ‘4 Is’ for inclusive growth – infrastructure, investment, innovation and inclusion, she said. “We are trying to harness the potential of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Indian diaspora.”
Indian diaspora of over 32 million across the world is seen as a ‘model community’ contributing to economic growth and job creation in their adopted lands. Citing a Nasscom report, she said Indian IT companies in the US directly hired 207,000 Americans with an average salary of $106,360 in 2021, registering a growth of 22% in employment post the pandemic.
She drew attention to the fact that 2,000 semiconductor chips are designed annually in India and there are about 0.6 million semiconductors design engineers across the world. “As a member of Parliament from Karnataka, I would like to give you a factoid. On the Outer Ring Road of Bengaluru, you will find a huge concentration of 50,000-70,000 semiconductor design engineers, comprising 1/10th of the global workforce,” the minister said.
Aircraft maker Airbus plans to manufacture C-295 aircraft at Dholera in Gujarat while Lockheed Martin is producing wings for F-16 fighter jets in India for export, she said.
Engineers based in India are estimated to be writing roughly 35% of 100 million lines of codes required to develop 1 driverless car for global vehicle makers. “Global capacity centres are now established in India, which tells that knowledge now emanates from India,” she said. For almost any car which one buys abroad, there’s at least one component which is made in India. Also, 14 out of 15 diamonds in the world are cut & polished in India, she added.
Highlighting India’s progress on digital payments, the minister said in 2022, 74 billion UPI transactions amounting to `125 trillion were made in India.
Speaking about climate concerns, Sitharaman said that despite having 17% of the global population, only 5% of global emissions emanate from India. “Still, we’re 100% committed towards climate change. We have scaled up renewable energy and India is well on course to achieve the NDCs (nationally determined contributions) laid out in Scotland,” she said.
Highlighting India’s contribution to the rest of the world, she said more than 60% of global vaccine requirement is serviced from India. ‘Made in India’ medicines in the domestic Indian pharma market are now more than 80% from 5% in 1969. India has the second-largest number of pharma & biotech professionals worldwide.