1. Why are remittances so important to India's economy?
India received $70 billion in remittances last year, and is expected to receive over $72 billion this year. That makes remittances one of the largest sources of foreign exchange for India, larger than its IT exports. Remittances directly flow to the migrants’ families, helping them finance purchases of essential items, housing, school and medical services. Remittances act like an insurance for Indian households, increasing in times of need (such as weddings, funerals, natural disasters). They also act like an insurance for the country, rising in times of financial difficulties, such as when external private capital flows decrease and the rupee weakens. They reduce poverty and increase human capital by enabling schooling and medical services. They also provide much needed funding for business investments for households.