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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Rupee depreciation brings windfall to families of expats

PTI  Kendrapara, August 29, 2013
First Published: 17:06 IST(29/8/2013) | Last Updated: 17:10 IST(29/8/2013)

The steep fall in the value of rupee giving a rise in the fears of a financial crisis notwithstanding, it has brought cheers to the family members of hundreds of skilled workers stationed in gulf countries.

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The skilled workers from Kendrapara and adjoining Jagatsinghpur districts are primarily employed in the plumbing profession in the gulf.

The decline in the value of rupee against dollar has enabled the family members to receive from more in Indian rupees from expatriates compared to what it fetched in normal times.

"There has been a steady flow of western union money transfer to post offices across the district. After the recent slump in the rupee value, this money transfer has gone up," BK Patnaik, superintendent of Kendrapara head post office, said.

Chief manager of State Bank of India Brajendra Kumar Dalei also spoke on the same line.

"Our branch has over 40,000 accounts. Family members of overseas and outstation workers have many accounts. Through core banking network, money transfer from overseas is a common trend here. Money transfer from gulf countries has increased in recent days," Dalei said.

In many areas of this district, plumbing is a major economic activity that has been providing income to thousands of families. The plumbers hailing mainly from Pattamundai, Aul, Rajnagar and nearby areas have dispersed across the country, as also to gulf and middle-east countries, Pradeep Kumar Mohanty, district labour officer, Kendrapara said.

On the number of plumbers who have moved from Kendrapara, Sub-collector Pratap Chandra Mishra said: "The district administration is yet to carry out a comprehensive list of number of plumbers who have migrated to other parts in search of livelihood.

But our conservative estimates put the migrant plumbers at 18,000 to 20,000." Rabindra Panda, a teacher, said the plumbing trade goes back to the British Raj when Kolkata was India's capital.

Many had migrated to Kolkata then in search of livelihood. Plumbers from this area laid the underground pipelines across the city before Independence.


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