Immigrants abroad rue lessening pay as rupee rides high on Narendra Modi wave

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 - 6:15am IST | Agency: DNA

When Andheri-based interior designer Mithun Roy, a Narendra Modi fan, left for Dubai three months ago to earn some quick bucks, riding on a weakening rupee, he had no idea that his hero would win, resulting in a stronger rupee and thereby less earnings for him abroad.

Following the slowdown in the Indian economy, Roy had found his job prospects in India rather bleak. When he failed to get any salary increment for four years, he decided to head to the Gulf. Roy said he left his family, including his year-old daughter, behind hoping to earn a handsome amount in foreign exchange and remit a tidy sum every month to his family in Mumbai. However, ironically, his idol's emergence has shattered his dream with the rupee gaining. From the recent Rs63 a dollar, it's now Rs59.

As per the exchange rate three months ago, it was more than Rs16.5 against 1 Dirham, the currency of UAE. However, now, it is Rs15.9 per Dirham.

"The latest exchange rate due to a stronger rupee has put me back by over Rs1 lakh in my annual package," said Roy, talking to dna over the phone from Dubai. "It's going to affect the amount of remittance coming to India."

According to World Bank's Migration and Development report, India leads the world chart of remittance flows, receiving over USD 70 billion last year.

Science graduate Zeeshan Hussain, who went to Qatar after failing to make a decent leaving in Mumbai, shares Roy's predicament. "I am happy that the economy of our country is finally improving due to recent political developments. But then, I am beginning to earn less now on my annual package."

"It's a bit of a loss for Indian immigrants in foreign countries. But then, it can't be helped, because, after all, they earned well when the rupee was doing bad," said banking expert Sameer Pednekar.

Experts say such a situation is common whenever the rupee does well. Many Indian companies, especially those serving foreign clients like BPOs, earned great revenues last year on account of weak Indian currency, while those who had to pay in foreign currencies, like airlines, bled due to it.


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