Punjab NRIs rejoice at rupee fall

Remittances witness 10 per cent jump, realty queries also shoot up

With the rupee witnessing its life low levels against the US dollar, the flow of remittances by NRIs from Punjab has risen by up to 10 per cent in past three months since it started depreciating.

"There has been an increase in remittances by the NRIs in past three months in the wake of weak rupee against US dollar,” said Aruna Singh, who handles inward remittances at Paul Merchants.

She said, “There has been a growth of 5-6 per cent per month in remittances in past three months. When rupee crossed the 68 mark against dollar, the flow went up by 10 per cent. Industry insiders revealed that some of NRIs even borrowed funds at a cheap rate and sent to India.

There have been cases in which some NRIs borrowed funds at a rate of 4-5 per cent in US and then deposited here in NRI account where they will get 8 per cent return,” another person dealing in inward remittances said.

The rupee has depreciated by nearly 28 per cent since April 30 (53.8) to 68.85 against the dollar on August 28. It is estimated that NRIs of Punjab origin remit Rs 800-1,000 crore per month to their families in India.

The flow of remittances also grew from Canada, the UK, and European countries as rupee took a hit against currencies of these countries as well.

“Maximum remittances are coming from USA, Canada, the UK, Europe and some Middle East countries,” said an industry insider. Maximum people of Punjab origin belonging to Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahar and Hoshiarpur districts shifted to other countries for greener pastures.

The drop in rupee has also rekindled the hopes of Punjab’s sluggish real estate sector which has recently evoked interest among NRIs for investments in both residential and commercial sectors.

“The inquiries by NRIs about real estate sector have grown recently,” Anil Chopra, Chairman of CREDAI (Punjab) said.

“People are still waiting for some stabilisation in rupee value against dollar. Once it happens, NRIs investment will flow in Punjab’s property market which will further boost the overall sentiments in real estate sector,” he said.

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