With the Indian rupee witnessing a record fall against the US dollar, the flow of remittances by NRIs from Punjab has risen by up to 10 per cent in the last three months to benefit from the higher exchange rate.
"Yes, there has been an increase in remittances by NRIs (who migrated from Punjab and Chandigarh) in the last three months in the wake of weak rupee against US dollar," Aruna Singh, handling Inward remittances at Paul Merchants Ltd, told PTI here.
Paul Merchants is a city-based company, having interests in global money transfer and foreign exchange businesses.
She said: "On an average, there has been a growth of 5-6 per cent per month in remittances in the last three months. And when rupee crossed the 68 mark against dollar, the flow went up by 10 per cent."
Industry insiders revealed that some of NRIs even borrowed funds at a cheap rate and sent back to India to earn more money.
"There have been cases in which some NRIs borrowed funds at a rate of 4-5 per cent in US and then deposited here in NRI account where they will get 8 per cent of return," another person dealing in inward remittances said.
The rupee has depreciated by nearly 28 per cent since April 30 (53.8) to 68.85 against the dollar on August 28.
It is estimated that NRIs of Punjab origin remit Rs 800- 1,000 crore per month back home to their families.
The flow of remittances also grew from Canada, the UK, and European countries as rupee took a hit against currencies of these countries as well.
"Maximum remittances are coming from USA, Canada, UK, Europe and some Middle East countries," industry insiders said.
Maximum people of Punjab origin belonging to Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahar and Hoshiarpur districts shifted to other countries for greener pastures.
The drop in rupee has also rekindled the hopes of Punjab's sluggish real estate sector which now has started seeing growing interest among NRIs for investing in housing and commercial properties.
"The inquiries by NRIs about real estate sector have started growing in the wake of fall in rupee against US dollar," Chairman of CREDAI (Punjab), Anil Chopra said.
"People are still waiting for some stabilisation in rupee value against dollar. Once it happens, NRIs investment will flow in Punjab's property market which will further boost the overall sentiments in real estate sector," he said.
Investment by NRIs in real estate is a major growth driver of Punjab's