As per the United Nations data, there are about 272 million international migrants in the world, of which 6.4% are Indian immigrants or Indian ex-pats, who have the largest population among the international migrants.
According to the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs, countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, and the Middle Eastern account for the majority of non-resident Indians (NRIs), who significantly contribute to the growth of the Indian economy. Their contribution helps create jobs on a big scale in India by strengthening national savings, investment, capital accumulation and so on.
The remittances received by families on a small basis are used to meet their basic requirements and also open doors for investment in schooling, health care etc. Although NRIs constitute only 1% of the total population of over 1.3 billion Indians, they are an integral part of India. The money these non-residents give to their family members, relatives or associates in India happens to be the country’s chief source of foreign currency inflow.
According to a report by World Bank, in 2020, India received more than $83 billion in remittances, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though there was a 0.2% drop in remittances from the previous year, India has been steadily experiencing notable growth in the domain since 1991. Between 2016 and 2017, there has been a noticeable surge from $62.75 to $68.97. These remittances contributed 2.9% of India’s GDP and they also shaped the country’s foreign exchange money of around 22% to 23%.
Besides, NRIs often initiate charities and have been instrumental in offering financial assistance during testing times such as the ongoing pandemic, floods etc.
In addition, NRIs are participating in various activities in India for the last few years, including market development initiatives like outsourcing, technology transfer, tourism. They have also contributed to certain political endeavours in the country and substantial flow of knowledge.
These wealth sources help the Indian economy to grow substantially. Moreover, the investments by NRIs in Indian markets and other developmental activities help build better healthcare and educational facilities and lead to social development and sustainable growth in the country as well.