Recovering from the steep fall, Indian remittances have increased sharply by 9.9 percent in 2017. The inflow has increased to $69 billion from $63 billion in the previous year, a World Bank statement said on Monday. The rebound in remittances has been fuelled by higher oil prices and a strengthening of euro and ruble, the report stated.

Remittances jumped to a record level in 2017 after two consecutive years of decline in low and middle-income countries, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief. The Bank estimates remittances to low and middle-income countries have jumped by 8.5 percent to $466 billion over $429 billion in 2016.

India retained its top position in world remittances, followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion). India also holds top position in international migrants with 16.4 million people in 2017.

The report also stated that the next year global remittances are expected to increase by4.6 per cent to $642 billion in 2018. “The overall recovery in remittances is better than we expected. It is driven by stronger growth in the European Union, the Russian Federation, and the United States. The rebound in remittances, when valued in US dollars, was helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and ruble,” said Dilip Ratha, lead economist at the World Bank in his blog.

“The global average cost of sending $200 was 7.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2018. The cost ranges from the most expensive average cost of 9.4 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa, to the lowest average cost of 5.2 percent in South Asia. The average cost is higher than the Sustainable Development Goal target of 3 percent in all regions,” he said.

“While remittances are growing, countries, institutions, and development agencies must continue to chip away at high costs of remitting so that families receive more of the money. Eliminating exclusivity contracts to improve market competition and introducing more efficient technology are high-priority issues,” Ratha added.

With inputs from PTI