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Bihar top receiver of remittance from Gulf countries

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BiharRemittances in Bihar have extraordinarily gone up in the recent past and are contributing to the economy of the high immigrant districts of Siwan and Gopalganj.

According to reports, maximum remittances between April 2015 and March 2016 were received by Siwan district followed by Gopalganj, and the same trend was observed in 2014, too, according to a top official of a global money transfer service provider.

Bihar in particular received maximum remittances from Saudi Arabia, followed by the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait in 2015. Remittances to India are largely from the UAE, the USA, the UK, Canada, Qatar, Singapore and Malaysia.

Anil Kumar, post master general (business development and marketing) Jharkhand stated that Siwan-Gopalganj general post office (one zone) received 62,000 international money orders via Western Union in 2014-15.

Reports say, Bihar stood at the second position in the country in terms of foreign remittances receiving a total of over Rs 1,800 crore through post offices in 2014-15

The Bihar government does not have district-wise data on emigrants. According to travel agents Gopalganj and Siwan account for 70 per cent of the state’s total immigrants.

Ministry of Overseas Affairs’ statistics showed, number of emigrants from Bihar surged from 36,493 in 2006 to 71,438 in 2011. Uttar Pradesh saw a bigger jump, from 66,131 in 2006 to 1,55,301 in 2011. Unlike Bihar, migration from Uttar Pradesh is not limited to a handful of districts.

Quoting the Western Union- Economic Impact Study in 2014, Shetty stated, “A changing pattern has been observed in migration trends, like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have emerged as the leading states as compared to South India earlier. Many take up jobs in the real estate, manufacturing and construction related sectors and are employed in professions like carpenters, welders, lorry drivers, masons and tailors in the last few years.

Remittances to India increase the most around Ramadan in particular, and this has been observed in Bihar too. After Ramadan, the two main holidays that see a spurt in remittances are Diwali and Baisakhi. Indians sent more money home last year than any other group of migrants.

India continues to be the largest remittance recipient country and over the years we have seen an increasing trend in remittances received. Within India, the states that receive the highest remittance include UP, Bihar Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab. UP continues to be the largest, followed by Tamil Nadu. In the past, it used to be Kerala, said Shetty.

A recent World Bank report estimated that India received $70.39 billion in remittances last year. That’s ahead of China, which got $64.14 billion, and more than all the remittances received by the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan combined.

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