Washington: Notwithstanding the recent global financial crisis, remittance flows to developing countries including India is expected to touch $325 billion by the end of this year and is likely to exceed to $370 billion in two years' time, reports PTI quoting a World Bank report.
According to the World Bank's latest Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011, remittance flows to developing countries is expected to reach $325 billion by the end of this year, up from $307 billion in 2009.
Worldwide, remittance flows are expected to reach $440 billion by the end of this year.
"Remittances in 2008 and 2009 became even more of a lifeline to poor countries, given the massive decline in private capital flows sparked by the crisis," Dilip Ratha, manager of the migration and remittance unit at the World Bank said.
Remittance flows to developing countries is expected to cross $370 billion, but this outlook is subject to the risks of a fragile global economic recovery, volatile currency and commodity price movements, and rising anti-immigration sentiment in many destination countries, the report added.
Mr Ratha further added, "High unemployment is prompting many migrant-receiving countries to tighten immigration quotas, which would probably slow the growth of remittance flows. Also uncertain currency movements can have unpredictable effects on remittance flows."
In addition to crisis-related risks, regulations to combat financial crime have become a roadblock to the adoption of new mobile money transfer technologies for cross-border remittances.
"There is urgent need to reassess regulations for remittances through mobile phones and mitigate the operational risks," Mr Ratha said.
As per the report, India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and France have been top recipient countries in 2010 so far.
According to the Factbook 2011, the top migrant destination country is the United States, followed by Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.
The top immigration countries relative to population are Qatar (87%), Monaco (72%), the United Arab Emirates (70%), Kuwait (69%) and Andorra (64%).
The report further added that Mexico-United States is expected to be the largest migration corridor in the world this year, followed by Russia-Ukraine, Ukraine-Russia, and Bangladesh-India.
Some developing regions in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed larger-than-expected falls in remittances in 2009, while flows to South Asia in 2009 grew more than expected. Those to East Asia and Pacific rose modestly.
New Delhi: Tea exports from India increased by 5% during the January-September period of the current year to 143.5 million kg, from 136.6 million kg in the corresponding period last year, reports PTI.
According to Tea Board data, both south and north India bettered their tally to the export kitty to 72.6 million kg and 70.9 million kg, from 71.4 million kg and 65.3 million kg respectively from the year-ago period.
However, the average price for each kg exports dipped to Rs132.4 during the first nine months of the current year, as against to Rs139.34 a year-ago, leading to a fall in the export revenue.
While 136.6 million kg exports during January-September period of last year fetched India Rs1,903.77 crore, it fell to Rs1,899.69 crore during current year's first nine months.
Industry officials said the average price fell as the superior-grade Assam tea was badly damaged during the year due to excessive rain and pest attacks.
India exports CTC (crush-tear-curl) variety of tea mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK and the premium orthodox variety of tea to Iraq, Iran and Russia.
Basudeb Banerjee, who recently relinquished from the post of Tea Board chairman, had earlier said that tea exports from the country could be around 200 million kg this year.
Meanwhile, imports of tea into the country also dipped to 12.96 million kg during the January-August period of current year, from 15.82 million kg in the year-ago period.
India imports tea only to re-export to countries like Iraq and Iran.
While Mumbai managed to have a comparatively less noisy Diwali thanks to activism from the media and a few NGOs, pilgrimage centre Varanasi managed to keep decibel levels under control
Yesterday, Moneylife had reported (see: http://www.moneylife.in/article//11002.html) on how noise pollution was comparatively less in Mumbai this Diwali, but how law-enforcing agencies found it difficult to control unruly mobs bursting firecrackers beyond the stipulated time in some pockets of the city.
However, Varanasi - considered as the nation's religious hub - has a different story to tell. Law-enforcing agencies ensured that the Supreme Court's rulings were adhered to, thus earning accolades from the residents of the city.
The whole police force of Varanasi, including all commanding officers and station officers, were on the roads to catch the culprits and seize firecrackers, thus proving to be a major relief for students, patients, expectant mothers and literally all sections of society.
The police managed to shut down firecracker shops in the city after 10pm in their attempt to curb noise and air pollution. Most of all, people co-operated with the administration/police to ensure that bursting of firecrackers was over by 11pm.
Satya Foundation, a non-governmental organisation working in the holy of Kashi, made serious efforts to ensure that Diwali is celebrated as the festival of lights and not a festival of noise. The foundation puts up hundreds of flex banners urging people to refrain from noisy celebrations in the name of religion and tradition. Joint pledge programmes were organised in 12 big schools a week before Diwali in Varanasi to urge children to desist from bursting firecrackers.
"The Satya Foundation through all its programmes made it clear that without stern legal action against firecrackers, nothing concrete can be achieved. A delegation of 30 children from 10 schools met divisional commissioner Ajay Kumar Upadhyaya on 26th October and demanded that those using firecrackers after 10pm must be penalised. Altogether, it was a wave against pollution in the name of tradition and religion which made (it) a conducive atmosphere for the administration to come in motion (if not legal action)," according to Chetan Upadhyaya, secretary of Satya Foundation.
Though complete success was difficult to achieve, with this kind of passion and public participation, one can always hope for better results next time, assert citizens of the holy city.
Will the police force and other law-enforcement agencies in Mumbai take up this example in giving much-need relief to citizens, especially students, patients and the elderly, so that various festivals celebrated during the year are more meaningful... and less noisy?