In the last two years, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab and Rajasthan have been the top six States sending people to the Gulf. In this period, emigration from India increased by 24 per cent. Earlier, Kerala used to largest contributory of workers abroad.
Revelations by the new statistics:
Statistics released by the External Affairs Ministry during a session on ‘Managing the Emigration Cycle: Streamlining and Supporting Indian Workers’ Emigration to ECR countries’ at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas show that these six States led the list from 2013 to 2015, and 90 per cent of the emigration was to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Significance of emigrants:
Currently, there are 8.54 million workers in 17 Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries around the world. They remit $69 billion annually, which constitutes 3 per cent of the GDP. As per MEA statistics, 40 per cent of the total remittances come from the GCC countries.
Problems faced by the emigrants :
1. Many have to deal with unscrupulous recruitment agents
2. Domestic sector workers are not covered under labour laws.
The Ministry has asked States to set up an NRI department to protect the interests of their citizens.
Problems in Tracking the emigrants :
An e-migrate system had been operational for the last 18 months. It records details of those going to ECR countries. The problem is that this data will remain incomplete because a large number of people go through devious routes.