Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 17 :
Remittances to Kerala have continued to grow ever since Keralites started migrating to the Gulf region, a study said.
During the 12-month period ending in March 1, 2014, it stood at Rs.72,680 crores, 46 percent higher than the remittances in 2011, the study added.
The number of Kerala emigrants as estimated by the study in 2014 was 23.63 lakhs.
The study titled Kerala Migration Survey (KMS)- 2014 is the sixth in the series of an ongoing migration monitoring study being conducted by veteran demographer K.C. Zachariah and S. Irudayarajan of the Centre for Development Studies, that was released here, Wednesday.
KMS has a 16-year history in migration research with its first survey in the series conducted in 1998.
It revealed that the total remittances that stood at Rs.13,652 crores in 1996, grew to Rs.18,465 crores in 2003 and in 2008 it touched Rs.43,288 crores.
In 2011, the total remittances was Rs.49,695 crores and during the period of the study as March 1, 2014 it touched Rs.72,680 crores.
Irudayarajan told IANS: “Remittances were 1.2 times the revenue receipt of the state, 4.9 times the money that the state got from the centre as revenue transfer and 1.5 times the entire government expenditure besides this is sufficient to wipe out 60 percent of the state’s public debt.”
The study reveals that the per capita income in the state would be Rs.63,491 without taking in to account the remittances, but would be Rs.86,180 if remittances were taken into the calculation.
This is an increase of 36 percent in a three year period.
He said the cash inflow by way of remittances has a very significant effect on the state’s economy and the living condition of its people.
Remittances, thus, form a very significant component of the income of Kerala households.
The study reveals that while 36.6 percent of the Muslim households received remittances, only 11.2 percent of Hindu households and only 14.4 percent of the Christian households received remittances in 2011.
“A fairly large number of households with emigrants or return emigrants use the remittances they receive for the construction of houses. The quality of houses varies very sharply by the number of NRKs in the household.
“While six percent of houses of households without any NRK are luxurious, whereas households with more than two NRKs is five times that of households without an NRK. The same trend is seen with respect to very good houses. The percentage doubles from 18.6 in households without an NRK to 36.4 percent in households with more than two NRKs,” said Irudayrajan.
Similarly, possession of common consumer durables such as television, cell phone has increased since 2008 with respect to all the consumer items without any exception.