Remittances from Indian migrant workers, which are about 1.5 times more than the total foreign investments in the country, have far-reaching benefits such as pushing up school enrolment, according to a United Nations report.
Additionally, remittances help reduce fertility and empower women, said the Human Development Report prepared by the United Nations Development Programme, released globally on Monday.
According to data with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), private transfer receipts comprising mainly remittances from Indians working overseas and local withdrawals from NRI (non-resident Indian) rupee deposits, increased 9.4 per cent to $13.3 billion during the first quarter this fiscal from $12.2 billion in the corresponding period a year ago.
"While not a substitute for broader development efforts, migration can be used as a vital strategy for households and families seeking to diversify and improve their livelihoods," said the report titled Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development.
India has about 25-30 million citizens working overseas, with a bulk of them employed in the Gulf region.
Released in India by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the report noted that nearly one billion of the world's estimated 6.7-billion population are migrants with women making up for almost half of that.