The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the top source of inward remittances, while Kerala has received the maximum funds sent from abroad, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s survey of inward remittances for 2016-17.
UAE’s share in total remittances was 26.9%, followed by the United States (22.9%), Saudi Arabia (11.6%), Qatar (6.5%) and Kuwait (5.5%).
According to the survey, 82% of the total remittances received by India originated from eight countries — UAE, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
Among destinations, Kerala has the highest share with 19%, followed by Maharashtra (16.7%), Karnataka (15%), Tamil Nadu (8%) and Delhi (5.9%).
Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu together received 58.7% of total remittances.
“More than half of remittances received by Indian residents were used for family maintenance, i.e., consumption (59.2%), followed by deposits in banks (20%) and investments in landed property and shares (8.3%),” the survey said.
Remittances essentially represent household income from foreign economies arising mainly from the temporary or permanent movement of workers to source economies. For the survey, RBI said responses were received from 42 major authorised dealers (ADs), accounting for 98.3% of total remittances in 2016-17.
The rupee drawing arrangement (RDA) is the most popular channel of remittances which accounts for 75.2% of remittances, followed by SWIFT (19.5%), direct transfers (3.4%) and cheques and drafts (1.9%).
Private banks got the lions share in total remittances with 74.1%, while public sector banks share was 17.3% and the remaining with foreign banks.
“Size-wise analysis shows that 70.3% of all reported transactions were of more than $500 and only 2.7% were of less than $200,” the RBI said.