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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Ordinary Indians get pounded by the rupee

None  New Delhi, August 28, 2013
First Published: 20:33 IST(28/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:05 IST(28/8/2013)

Railway employee Jagmohan Sharma is not a financial expert. However, he has an expert-like grasp of everything responsible for rupee's free fall--how the price of oil is going up because of concerns about a US-led strike against Syria, India's deepening fiscal deficit, effect of food bill or the US winding down its vast stimulus programme.

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Sharma whose son Gautam is studying international law at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, is attempting to understand why he has to transfer funds to his son so frequently these days.

"In 2012 September when my son went to the UK, I transferred funds to him at about Rs. 87 to the pound, on Wednesday the rate was Rs. 106 to the pound. I have to transfer more and more funds quite frequently at present despite the fact that my son is living quite modestly over there," he said.

The situation is quite similar for 19-year-old Umika Tripathi. A student of National Law University in Hyderabad, she is planning to visit Santa Clara in the US. She will be staying there for five months and she is already busy calculating how much the sharp volatility in the rupee is going to cost her.

"Forget about the burgeoning cost of living because of the rupee crash, I will have to pay extra Rs. 30,000-40,000 for tickets only," she rues. However, rupee fall means different things to different people. For some, it is a chance to secure their future as their remittances from abroad have gone up.
 
Vadodara-based teacher Neeta Gosai whose husband works in Bahrain said, "My husband remits money from the Middle-East every month. As Bahraini dinar is one of the strongest currencies in the world, we are getting so much more money every month which we are saving for our children's studies. Now we can offer them so much more in terms of education."

According to the World Bank, remittances into India totaled $70 billion in 2012 ( Rs. 374,080 crore at an average value of Rs. 53.44 per dollar for the year), making it the biggest recipient of such flows.

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