The total foreign remittance to Kerala, mainly from those working in Gulf countries, stood at Rs 72,680 crore in 2013-14, according to a survey by the Centre for Development Studies. It said this amount was about 46 per cent higher than the remittance in 2010-11, when the CDS last conducted a similar exercise.
Remittances to Kerala have continued to grow ever since Keralites started migrating to the Gulf region and these numbers indicated that the rate of growth of remittances has accelerated in recent years in spite of the slowing down of the annual increase of emigration from the state since 2008, the survey report, which was released today, said.
Most other macroeconomic indicators also show that remittances played a significant part in the economy of the state. Remittances were 1.2 times the revenue receipt of the state, 4.9 times the money that the state got from the centre as revenue transfer and 1.5 times the entire government expenditure, the report said.
Remittances are sufficient to wipe out 60 per cent of the state’s public debt. However, there was a flip side to this otherwise rosy picture as not all households in the state were received remittances in 2011 and 2014. Only about 17.1 per cent of the Kerala households have received cash remittances in 2011.
With regard to regional and community-wise aspect, the survey said while Muslim households received more remittances than Hindu and Christian families.
Total household remittance for the year 2013-14 was Rs 15,129 crore.
On the utilisation of remittance, the survey found that a fairly large number of households with emigrants or return emigrants use the amount they receive for the construction of houses.
It is a common sight in Kerala to see lines of palatial houses even in remote areas indicating that many persons from that area had once been emigrants, the survey said. On return emigrants, the report said the number of return emigrants to Kerala in 2014 was 12.48 lakhs, which is about 52 per cent of the number of emigrants.
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