by Chinmay Tumbe
IIMB Working Ppaer No.360, 2012
A hundred years ago, during colonial times, more than a hundred thousand migrants from Britain and Ireland worked in India, mostly as soldiers and administrators. In contrast, only around 4,000 Indians lived in Britain: 1,000 students and 2,500 persons working in navigation related activities. As a result, European countries were net recipients of migrants’ remittances from India.
A century later, nearly a million emigrants from India live in the countries of the European Union (EU) and less than 10,000 EU expatriates work in India, making India a net recipient of migrants’ remittances from the EU.
Considering the significantly large Indian emigrant base in the EU, few questions that emerge are: How much money flows from the EU to India by way of migrants’ remittances? What part of emigrant capital flows are sourced from the EU? And what are the country shares of these remittance flows?
This paper attempts to address these questions basing its analysis on data compiled from numerous reports published by the Reserve Bank of India over the last three decades.
The paper is organised as follows: Section 2 discusses the various types of remittances that flow to India, the importance of Non-Resident Indian deposits as a conduit for emigrant capital flows and migrants’ remittances and the main source regions of remittances to India. Section 3 briefly summarises remittance outflows from the EU and outlines the top remittance corridors from the EU. Section 4 quantifies EU to India remittance flows at the aggregate and country level while Section 5 concludes. Appendix 1 and 2 outline the measurement issues involved in estimating the magnitude of migrants’ remittances and the source regions of these flows.