India receives 45% of its international remittance from GCC countries

India has had the historical bilateral relationship with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE) for centuries with mutual respect and benefit. Relations got strengthened after the oil exploration boom which opened the doors on Indian semi skilled and unskilled workers who migrate in the GCC countries to meet out their manpower need in new projects.
Nature of Indian workers has improved to professional and white collar workers during the three decades of last century but still the percentage ratio of semi skilled and unskilled workers accounts to 70% while professionals like doctors, engineers, architecture and other white-collar employees in private as well as in government departments constitute around 30%.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are always favorite country for Indian migrants as the larger part of the community are accommodated in the region. Despite higher economic growth and improved living standard in India, workers are still looking towards gulf markets as better employer destinations for their career and earnings. Over the years emigration to gulf countries has increased manifold. Trend of flow is shown in given table for last three decades:
NRI Population in GCC Countries (In Thousands)
Country
1991
2001
2010
Bahrain
100
130
350
Kuwait
88
295
579
Oman
220
312
558
Qatar
75
131
500
Saudi Arabia
600
1500
1789
UAE
400
950
1703
GCC Total
1483
3318
5479
India top immigrant country to GCC region
India is the top immigrant country to GCC region as it constitutes around 32% share of whole migrant population in the region, followed by Pakistan 13%, Egypt 11%, Yemen 6%, Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Iran and Indonesia.
India top in receiving remittance from GCC
In terms of remittance also, India is the leading country in GCC region to outflow the largest remittance to its home country. The recently released estimate by World Bank accounted India to receive $55 billion worth of remittance from abroad during the year 2010 and thus became the top recipient country of international remittance in the world. Approximately 45% share of the total Indian foreign remittance worth $24 billion inflows from GCC countries alone. The largest share of the 45% comes from UAE followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain.
Per Indian migrant average earning in GCC countries is $4887 slightly above the average of all countries $4841 in the world. Among GCC countries, the average earning varies country to country like UAE migrant average income is $7264 while for Oman it is $2279 only.
Indian government is always concerned about the better facilities to transfer the overseas remittance in India and has taken initiatives which inter alia include market based exchange rate, current account convertibility, regulatory measures to facilitate the institutional development for wider access to remittance services, policy initiatives for speedier and cost effective money transfer arrangements. To avoid any exploitation and to ensure the welfare of Indian workers in gulf, government of India has signed Labour Welfare Agreement with Qatar, Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Labour welfare with United Arab of Emirates (UAE) in December, 2006, with Kuwait in April, 2007, with Oman in November 2008, and with Bahrain in June, 2009.
Published in Twocircles on 23 August 2011

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