Remittances to India in April-December 2009 at Rs2.04 lakh crore

The country had received around Rs2.34 lakh crore in remittances from Indian expatriates in the financial year 2008-09

Notwithstanding the global financial meltdown, India received a huge amount of Rs2.04 lakh crore in remittances during April-December 2009.

The country had received around Rs2.34 lakh crore in remittances from Indian expatriates in the financial year 2008-09.

Overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi told the Lok Sabha that the country received $40,810 million (around Rs2,04,050 crore) during April to December 2009.

Remittances to India have been on the rise over the past few years and it has become one of the preferred destinations of global flow of remittances.

The minister said that in 2006-07, the country had got $30,835 million in remittances while the amount increased to $43,508 million in 2007-08.

The Gulf region accounts for an average of 27% of the total remittance inflows into India, with major source countries being the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The Reserve Bank of India recently had said that North America continues to be the most important source of remittances to India despite its share in total remittances falling to 38% from 44% in 2006.

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Gold falls by Rs135 on weak global cues

Analysts said that reports of sovereign debt rise spreading beyond Greece weighed on other financial markets worldwide and investors preferred the dollar as a safe haven

Gold prices today fell by Rs135 to Rs 17,250 per 10gm on the bullion market here on heavy selling by stockists after weak global cues, reports PTI.

Silver prices nosedived by Rs900 to Rs27,850 per kg.

Gold in overseas markets, which normally set the price trend on the domestic front, dropped 0.4% to $1,166.55 an ounce after the dollar rose on European debt woes and a report showing an unexpected jump in US factory orders.

Analysts said that reports of sovereign debt rise spreading beyond Greece weighed on other financial markets worldwide and investors preferred the dollar as a safe haven.

Low retail demand for gold due to off-marriage and festival season also put pressure on the metals, they added.

Standard gold and ornaments plunged by Rs135 each to Rs17,250 and Rs17,100 per 10gm respectively. They had gained Rs155 in the three previous sessions. Sovereign, however, closed flat at Rs14,150 per piece of 8gm in restricted activity.

Similarly, silver ready dropped by Rs900 to Rs27,850 per kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs1,130 to Rs27,300 per kg. Silver coins fell by Rs200 to Rs33,700 for buying and Rs33,800 for selling of 100 pieces.

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World’s biggest cargo airport constructed in Dubai

The new airport is planned to cover 140 square kilometres, part of the $33-billion Dubai World Central development in the Jebel Ali area, home also to the region's largest port and its busiest free zone

Dubai’s second airport which is designed to be the world’s largest, is set to start operations from 27th June for cargo only, reports PTI.

According to Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths, the Al-Maktoum International Airport, which is designed to be the world’s largest when completed, plans to receive passengers next year.

He said that the passenger terminal is scheduled to be ready by the end of this year and that it will enter service at the beginning of the summer season in 2011, towards the end of March.

The airport, which is designed to have six runways and handle 120 million passengers when fully completed, was supposed to be operational by the end of 2008. Its runway has been ready since 2007.

Mr Griffiths was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. “We are not just creating the largest airport in the world, it is also the best,” he said, adding that Dubai expects to receive 150 million passengers by 2030 at its two airports.

The new airport is planned to cover 140 square kilometres, part of the $33-billion Dubai World Central development in the Jebel Ali area, home also to the region's largest port and its busiest free zone.

Dubai is also continuing to expand its existing airport, building a third concourse while it plans to expand Terminal Two, which is the hub for its young low-cost carrier, Flydubai.

Dubai airport handled 11.47 million passengers in the first quarter of this year, up 20.4% from the corresponding period last year, he said.
Meanwhile, back home, the government today said the recent Dubai World debt crisis had no significant impact on the Indian economy including exports.

Dubai World is an investment company that manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai Government. The UAE was India’s largest trading partner in 2008-09 with the two-way commerce estimated at $48.26 billion.

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