It is nothing new for the state to witness remittance from Keralites working abroad to account for a significant portion of its GDP.
In 2011, at Rs 49,965 crore, it touched an all-time high of 31.2 per cent of the state GDP, according to a recent report on Kerala Migration Survey, prepared by Centre For Development Studies (CDS), for Department of Non-resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) and Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. In 2011, there were 34,30,889 NRKs, up from 33,50,538 in 2008.
Most macroeconomic indicators show that NRK remittances in 2011 played a significant part in the economy of the state.
“NRK remittances were 1.6 times the revenue receipt (Rs 31,181 crore), 6.2 times the money that the state got from the Centre (`7,982 crore) as revenue transfers and 2.2 times the entire government expenditure (Rs 22,546 crore). The remittances alone are sufficient to wipe out 60 per cent of state’s public debt (Rs 78,239 crore),” S Irudiya Rajan, chair professor, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs Research Unit on International Migration, Centre for Development Studies, told Express.
Malappuram topped in overall remittance with Rs 9,040 crore accounting for 18.2 per cent of the state’s total remittance. Close on heels were Ernakulam (12.3 per cent), Kannur (10.4 per cent) and Thiruvananthapuram (9.5 per cent).
Significantly, there has not been a spectacular growth in NRK remittances over the last three years when it went by only `6,669 crore as against a spurt of Rs 24,831 crore in the preceding five-year period. “Only about 17.1 per cent households have received cash remittance in 2011. Surprising aspect of the situation is that the proportion of households that received cash remittance in 2011 was exactly same as in 2008 - 17.1 pc ,” says the report.