The Centre for Development Studies will commence its sixth Kerala Migration Survey (KMS) within a month.
Funded by the Kerala State Planning Board, the survey, which covers 15,000 households in the state, mainly aims at finding the trend of emigration from Kerala and foreign remittance to the state.
“We intend to start the survey in November and conclude it by March. It might be compiled by the end of next year,” said S Irudaya Rajan, Chair Professor, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) research unit on international migration at Centre for Development Studies. The Centre for Development Studies had started the KMS in 1998 and continued the same in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2011.
During the past surveys, it came up with interesting findings on the migration trend of Keralites, especially to Gulf countries.
The over 2.5-million Keralites living abroad contribute over 35 per cent of the state’s GDP. At Rs 60,000 crore, the remittances contributed to a third of the GDP last fiscal. If the inflows continue, this fiscal it could well be about 40 per cent of the GDP.
The state had set a new record in remittances this year by already reporting a 36 per cent year-on-year spike in inflow, as of June-end, at Rs 75,883 crore.
This is a net incremental addition of Rs 20,220 crore over the Rs 55,663 crore in June 2012, according to data provided by the State-level Bankers’ Committee, which is 32.8 per cent of the total bank deposit in the state.
“The previous surveys had helped the state and Central governments to formulate policies on migration and remittances,” Irudaya Rajan said.
Although the tradition of the state’s trade contracts with the West and Gulf can be traced back to 3,000 BC, migration of Keralites to Saudi Arabia in droves began only around 1975, experts said.