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Comparing the contribution of FDI and Migrants to the Indian Economy

Indian migrants sent $62.7 billion in FY 16-17 

Recent news reports indicated that the FDI inflows in India hit a new high of $43 billion in the year 2016-17. The ministry of commerce and industry said in a press statement, “The intent all this while has been to make the FDI policy more investor friendly and remove the policy bottlenecks that have been hindering the investment inflows into the country”. FDI inflows being an important metric for evaluation of economic development of the country, generates a lot of interest in the Government and the industry alike. In comparison to FDI inflows, remittance inflows to India have been $62.7 billion in FY16-17 as per the latest World Bank reports. Close to 16 Million Indian migrants, who send remittances and play a crucial role in India’s macro and micro economic development, are often shrugged off and mistreated.

Indian migrants face multiple problems at various stages which are further complicated by involvement of middle-men, corruption and lack of policies for Migrant welfare. Getting passports for them is similar to cracking an entrance exam to apply for a job abroad. Majority of Indian migrant workers are illiterate, blue-collared employees who travel abroad to earn a living and send money home to their families. They travel with one bag, slippers and a dream to deliver a better quality of life for their family back home. Unfortunately, they are not only harassed by recruitment agencies which deceive them with overpriced visas but also by customs. The government policies must take care of these blue-collared workers by easing the process of securing passports and Visas, for they contribute a large chunk of the total inward remittance market. The international remittance industry is gradually evolving by becoming conscious to the needs of these migrants and is doing its bit to ease the process of sending money home to their families.

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