ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Diaspora Philanthropy and Development in Rural Punjab

The level of diaspora philanthropy and its role in socio-economic development in rural Punjab is analysed using primary data from 24 selected villages. The findings reveal that while cumulatively, diaspora philanthropy is important for socio-economic development in the selected villages in Punjab, the philanthropic donations and their impacts were not equally distributed among them.

The contribution of international migrants to their home countries in the form of remittances and philanthropic donations as an important source of development finance was initially recognised by the World Bank’s (2003) Global Financial Development Report. The report claimed that the inflow of financial resources from developed to developing countries in the form of migrant remittances and philanthropy—at $90 billion a year globally—was nearly twice the total flow of official development assistance (Upadhya and Rutten 2012). It further identified remittances as a large, stable, and growing source of finance, with a potential expansionary effect on the recipient countries’ economies (Lucas 2005). The World Bank’s World Development Indicators 2017 has depicted India as the top recipient country for remittance ($68.9 billion in 2015) in the world (World Bank 2017).

Moreover, as per Migration and Development Brief 30 of the World Bank (2018), India is projected to remain the largest recipient of officially recorded remittance inflows with estimates of $79.5 billion in 2018. India’s trade deficit has almost been matched by the net invisibles since independence. Private remittances constitute a significant portion of the net invisibles (Singala and Allamraju 2011). In fact, current account deficit of India’s balance of payments has also been significantly reduced by remittances. Recognising the importance of its diaspora and remittances since the 1970s, the Government of India (GoI) has introduced special deposit schemes for non-resident Indians (NRIs) to attract foreign capital (Afram 2012). Due to the conducive policies of the GoI, especially after the liberalisation period, inward flow of remittances has sharply increased. The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has become a major vehicle for political and economic engagement, and for highlighting diaspora achievements (Thandi 2006).

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Updated On : 16th Apr, 2019
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