Libmonster ID: UK-1268
Author(s) of the publication: N. V. GALISHCHEVA


Candidate of Economic Sciences

MGIMO (U) of the Russian Foreign Ministry

India Keywords:Indian diasporaforeign capitaldeposits of non-residents of Indian origin

Modern India never ceases to amaze the world with its successes: among them, the rapid development of the automotive industry and biotechnology, the space industry and nuclear energy, and the formation of a national innovation system. Now the country is associated not only with Bollywood movies and endless sandy beaches of Goa, but also with information technology and pharmaceutical products*.

According to the latest data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2010 the country's economic growth rate was 9.9%, and it is close to China (10.4%), which has retained the honorary "title of champion"over the past decade1.In 2011, growth declined to 7.4% due to the slowdown in the global economic recovery and the persistence of crisis phenomena, primarily in the euro area, but India remains one of the fastest growing countries (in 2012 and 2013, this figure is projected at 7% and 7.3%, respectively)2.

One of the "secrets" of this rapid rise can rightly be considered the assistance provided to India by representatives of its diaspora, which currently numbers more than 25 million people and ranks second in number in the world (after China)**. The number of its direct labor component, according to the World Bank (WB) at the beginning of 2011, reaches 11.4 million people (second place in the world after Mexico-11.9 million people) 3.

Since 2004. India consistently holds the 1st place in the world in terms of the absolute volume of money transfers to its homeland made by representatives of the Indian diaspora.4 According to the results of 2010, the volume of money transfers to this country reached $55 billion, which was more than 12.5% of the world figure (according to the World Bank, the world volume of money transfers in 2010 amounted to more than $440 billion).5. At the same time, by relative indicator (the share of money transfers in the country's GDP) India is far from being at the forefront. By the end of 2010, the leaders in relative terms were Tajikistan (35% of GDP), Moldova (31% of GDP), Tonga (28% of GDP), and Lesotho (25% of GDP).6

It is noteworthy that since FY2000-01, the volume of money transfers to India has significantly outstripped loans provided to it by international financial institutions and foreign countries (at the end of 2010, 3.9% of GDP and 0.2% of GDP, respectively). At the same time, in 2010, the lion's share of transfers came from Asia (and, above all, the rich monarchies of the Persian Gulf), where the bulk of India's blue-collar workers are concentrated (58%), as well as North America (27%) and Europe (13%).7

An important role in attracting money transfers from representatives of the diaspora is primarily played by the competent policy of the Indian government to organize and improve a specialized system of bank deposits for non-residents of Indian origin (NIPS).

The concept of "non-residents of Indian origin" (nips) includes both individuals and legal entities. NIP individuals are Indian citizens who stay outside India for a long (more than 182 days in the current year or more than 360 days in the previous 4 years, provided that they stay abroad for at least 60 days in the last year) or indefinite time for business and private contracts, in connection with training, work in public service in diplomatic missions and international organizations. NIP legal entities are companies registered outside of India with at least 60% of the authorized capital owned by Indian citizens.

One of the distinguishing features of the development of the Indian economy in the last two decades has been a very significant increase in the inflow of foreign capital to the country. Moreover, its growth rate exceeded the growth rate of India's foreign trade. In the structure

* For more information, see: Yurlov F. N. India na puti k globalnoy derzhave [India on the Path to Global Power] / / Asia and Africa Today, 2011, No. 8; Shchelkunov D. O. Internet Economy: Russia and India as two sides of the same coin / / Asia and Africa Today, 2011, No. 11 (editor's note).

** For more information, see: Galishcheva N. V. Indiskaya diaspora: svyazi s Rodinoi sostoyanenii [The Indian Diaspora: Ties with the Motherland are preserved]. Aziya i Afrika segodnya, 2010, No. 9 (ed.).

page 54

Table 1

Inflow of funds to NIP deposits ($ bn)


FY 1990/91

FY 2000/01

FY 2005/06

Fiscal year 2006/07

Fiscal year 2007/08

Fiscal year 2008/09

FY 2009/10

FY 2010/11 (April-December)










Paid out









Net receipts









Source: compiled and calculated by the author on: Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, Economic Division. Economic Survey. Various Issues.

There were also noticeable changes in foreign capital flows: there was a significant excess of inflows through private channels over what was invested in the economy through the state line.

Foreign resources that India receives from private sources consist of entrepreneurial capital in the form of portfolio and direct investment, loan capital in the form of external commercial borrowing, and deposits from non-residents of Indian origin. It is noteworthy that NPCs often prefer to keep their deposits in Indian banks, since here they are granted higher interest rates than in banks in other countries. Although foreign inflows in the form of loan capital are unstable due to their dependence on India's current position in international markets and ultimately lead, unlike entrepreneurial capital, to an increase in the country's external debt, they still play a fairly important role in accumulating cash and solving problems with the balance of payments in the short term.


Back in the early 1970s, special deposits were opened in Indian banks to encourage the inflow of funds from nips and the foreign Indian diaspora. However, the amount of funds received for these projects increased significantly only in the 1980s, which was associated with a noticeable increase in the number of Indians leaving for work abroad, especially in the Persian Gulf countries. In order to increase the flow of their savings to India, new deposit schemes were introduced, mainly involving very attractive interest rates in comparison with the global market, and the possibility of full repatriation of funds was also provided.

As a result, the share of NIP deposits in net capital inflows increased from 9.7% in FY 1980/81 (April 1 of the current year - March 31 of the following year) to 38.2% in FY 1985/86 and remained at the level of about 30% in the next four years. It is clear that the impressive inflow of funds on deposits was the result of a carefully implemented policy of stimulating capital through very attractive differentiated interest rates and financial incentives, as well as providing guarantees that there will be no losses as a result of changes in the rupee exchange rate.

Attracting rupees and foreign currency deposits from NIPS is generally a more expensive method of maintaining balance of payments stability than, for example, attracting foreign direct investment, since banks often have to resort to setting higher interest rates to encourage customers to invest in deposits, and, in addition, also guarantee losses from currency fluctuations. But in the second half of the 1980s. India has had to actively resort to attracting NIP deposits, despite the disadvantages of this method of maintaining balance of payments stability.

The policy of unlimited attraction of NIP deposits clearly demonstrated its vulnerability precisely during the currency and financial crisis of 1991-1992, when a one-time large-scale outflow of deposits only worsened the already serious situation with India's balance of payments.

As a result of the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in August 1990 and the war of the international coalition with Iraq in January - February 1991, oil prices on the world market significantly increased. In addition, many Indian citizens who worked in the Gulf states were forced to leave the unstable region, and their regular currency transfers to their homeland decreased or even completely stopped, as in the case of Kuwait.

All this led India in 1991 to the most acute crisis in the entire history of the world.

page 55

Its history was affected by the currency and financial crisis, which was accompanied by an unprecedented balance of payments deficit against the background of a reduction in gold and foreign exchange reserves to $1 billion. The Indian government even had to use the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) gold reserve in the UK to buy strategically important commodities abroad, including cereals.

Delhi had no choice but to take relatively "cheap" (low-interest) loans from international financial institutions-the IMF, the World Bank, etc. However, such loans were granted only if economic reforms were initiated immediately in the spirit of structural adjustment programs, * including liberalizing all sectors of the economy, privatizing India's very large public sector, and making the country more actively involved in the process of globalization.

It is for this reason that large-scale economic reforms have begun to be implemented in India.

The experience of the crisis has also forced the Indian government to avoid over-reliance on NIP deposits. Moreover, the effective mobilization of foreign currency deposits was generally questioned by a number of economists, who took into account the hidden costs associated with the guarantee against losses.

With the end of the crisis, the inflow of funds from NIP deposits to India gradually resumed, although their relative importance in accumulating foreign currency funds decreased. The share of NIP deposits in net capital inflows, which peaked at 47.4% in FY 1992/93, decreased to 12.2% in FY 1993/94 and 2.1% in FY 1994/95.

As access to the global financial market improved and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows increased, there was no need to maintain high interest rates on NIP deposits. In addition, the 1990s saw rapid growth in the information technology sector and exports of its products abroad, as well as an increase in FDI inflows to India. All this has led to a significant increase in gold and foreign exchange reserves, and the Indian government has come to the conclusion that it is advisable to reduce the interest rates on the proposed deposits and link them with LIBOR** - the weighted average interest rate on interbank loans provided by banks operating in the London interbank market. Subsequently, Indian banks were given the right to set their own interest rates on some of their deposits in rupees, and since April 2002, all deposits have been fully repatriated again.

In the second half of the 1990s, interest rates on NIP deposits were raised again, which naturally led to an increase in the absolute and relative scale of NIP deposits: $1.103 billion (37.1%) in FY 1995/96, and $3.35 billion (32.1%) in FY 1996/97.

In the late 1990s, NIP deposits averaged $1.7-2 billion, which was equivalent to 20% of net capital inflows to India, and in the 2000s - $3-4 billion. and about 5%, respectively. Currently, the share of NIP deposits in the total volume of deposits of Indian commercial banks is approximately 17% on average. At the same time, NIP deposits account for about 60% of India's external debt to private creditors.


Since the 1970s, various types of accounts of non - residents of Indian origin - rupee and foreign currency-have been opened to attract NIP financial resources to India, both repatriated and non-repatriated. The main ones are listed below.

The first method of attracting financial resources of non - residents of Indian origin to India, which is still successfully working, was the NR(E)RA (Non-Resident (External)rupee account scheme Rupee Account). It was launched in February 1970 and provided for the right of full repatriation of both accrued interest and the principal amount of the deposit. This account can be opened by any NPC who has reached the age of 21. It provided for the possibility of placing funds in both savings and term accounts for a period of one to three years. At the same time, in comparison with other term deposits for a similar period, the rates on it were in average-

Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) - a neoliberal modernization model developed by the IMF and the World Bank to reduce the financial imbalances of borrowing developing countries through market-based reforms and good governance. Special attention was paid to improving finances, privatization, deregulating the economy, creating a developed export-oriented market system, reducing barriers to foreign trade, opening the country to imports and investments, and free convertibility of the national currency. The programs have contributed to economic recovery in South Korea, Chile, and some Eastern European and African countries (Morocco, Uganda). However, in most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, they have led to a sharp deterioration of the economy and a significant aggravation of social problems.

** The London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) has been fixed by the British Banking Association since 1985. LIBOR is the weighted average interest rate on interbank loans granted to banks operating in the London interbank market with the offer of funds in different currencies and for different periods - from 1 day to 12 months. LIBOR is calculated for 10 currencies: US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars, euro, pound sterling, Danish and Swedish krona, Japanese yen and Swiss franc.

page 56

It was 2% higher than other similar investments, which stimulated the inflow of NIP deposits. The amount of funds accumulated under this scheme by March 1980 was $850 million, and by March 1990 - $3.72 billion. At the same time, the share of funds in the NR(E)accountsBy the mid-1980s, RA accounted for about 60% of the total amount of funds raised on NIP deposits.

In October 1992, banks for the first time received the right to set their own interest rates on NR(E)RA accounts up to 13% (1% higher than the maximum profitable deposits). Banks have been given full freedom of action in setting interest rates since September 1997, and since April 2004. they are set at the LIBOR rate.

Repatriable Non-Resident (External) Savings Bank Account - a bank account opened in rupees that allows frequent accruals and withdrawals of funds (annuities, dividends, interest, pensions, etc.) received from abroad or from other NIP accounts opened in Indian banks). Special feature of the NR(E)accountRA means that it can be opened either by one NPC living abroad or by several NPCs. A resident of India authorized by the depositor may also have the right to manage this account. A checkbook, payment orders, and travel checks can also be issued as part of the account at the depositor's request. At the same time, payment orders opened in a foreign currency can be converted to rupees. Interest accrued on deposits is not subject to income and wealth taxes. Gifts paid from this account are not subject to gift tax 8. A special feature of the account is that it can also be replenished with funds in foreign currency, which, however, is converted into Indian rupees at the bank's exchange rate before crediting.

Back in November 1975, the RBI allowed NPCs to open a foreign currency account in Indian banks - FCNR(A) (Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Account), which also provided for the right of full repatriation of funds. The interest rates on these deposits were constantly adjusted in accordance with the interest rate on the global capital market. This account was very attractive not only for NIPS, but also for Indian commercial banks, since all risks associated with exchange rate fluctuations were assumed by the RBI, and the funds raised were not subject to the requirements of the mandatory bank reservation rate. Under this scheme, $200 million had been attracted to the Indian economy by March 1980. It lasted until August 1994, and the Indian state paid for it in full only by 1997.

Total amount of funds raised under NR(E)schemesRA and FCNR (A) by the end of FY 1989/90, totaled $12.4 billion.

The currency and financial crisis of 1991 revealed a strong dependence of this method of raising funds on the state of affairs in the economy. In fy1991/92, the volume of NIP deposits decreased by $904 million. A crucial role in their outflow was played by the fact that NIPS have the right to repatriate both interest on their deposits and their principal amount at any time. And since about 3/4 of the deposits at that time were placed in accounts with Indian commercial banks for more than one year, their early repatriation inevitably led to a deterioration of the already difficult situation with India's gold and foreign exchange reserves and external debt.

All this has forced the Indian Government to temporarily adopt a different policy with respect to NIP deposits, according to which the possibility of early repatriation was extended only to interest, and not to the principal amount of the deposit, as it was before (the return to fully repatriated accounts was again possible only from April 2002). NIP deposits were attracted to rupee deposits, which eventually led to a reduction in the share of foreign currency deposits in the post-crisis period from 70% in 1990 to 32% in mid-2003.

In line with the new anti-crisis policy, the RBI launched two schemes for attracting foreign currency funds to NIP deposits, which were radically different from the previous ones in that it was forbidden to withdraw funds from them before the expiration date. A few years later, these schemes were curtailed in connection with the solution of the problem of a serious deficit in India's gold and foreign exchange reserves.

In May 1993, the FCNR(B) (Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Banks) Accounts), which is still successfully functioning today. An FCNR(B) account could be opened by any NPC over the age of 21. It accepted deposits in US dollars, British pounds, Japanese yen and German marks (since 1999 - in euros*), and later-in Australian and Canadian dollars. The fundamental difference between this scheme and others was that the risks at the exchange rate were no longer borne by the RBI, but by the commercial banks themselves. Their interest rates are linked to the LIBOR rate.

The interest rate, as a rule, is always higher than for deposits in the corresponding currency on the world financial markets. At the end of the term, the deposit amount and interest can be paid at the depositor's request, both in foreign currency and in rupees. Dividends received from investments in the FCNR(B) account in India

* The euro was introduced to the world financial markets as a settlement currency in 1999, and on January 1, 2002, banknotes and coins were introduced into cash circulation (editor's note).

page 57

fully exempt from paying any taxes 9.

In July 2006, a fundamentally new NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) scheme was developed, providing for investments in rupees. Like the NR (E) RA, the NRO account provides for the possibility of depositing funds both in non-expatriated rupiah savings bank accounts of NIPS and in deposits of NIPS for a period of one to three years.

If an Indian citizen travels abroad for work, study, business, etc. Their savings bank account automatically receives the status of a Non-Repatriable Non-Resident Ordinary Savings Banking Account (NIP). Interest accruals are subject to income tax, but, unlike the principal amount of the deposit, they can be repatriated. The account can be replenished with income received by the depositor only in India, as well as funds transferred from other NRO accounts and internal Indian accounts 10.

As in the case of Non-Repatriable Non-Resident Ordinary Savings Banking Accounts, the term bank account of an NIP located outside of India receives the status of a Non-Resident Ordinary Term Deposits. The terms and conditions for both accounts are almost exactly the same.

In FY12 / 08, there was some outflow of funds on NIP deposits (especially in April-January, when the net outflow was $0.455 billion). This was caused by a two-fold revision of the interest rate ceiling in the first three months of 2007.

The volume of attracted NIP deposits was also influenced by so-called bond schemes. The first of them - The Resurgent India Bonds-was launched from August 5 to September 4, 1998, three months after the introduction of sanctions against India by a number of leading Western countries in connection with its nuclear tests. The yield on deposits accepted in US dollars, pounds sterling and German marks was 7.75%, 8.0% and 6.25%, respectively. The minimum deposit amount depended on the currency and amounted to $2 thousand, 1 thousand pounds sterling and 3 thousand German marks11. The amount of funds raised under this scheme was $4.2 billion.

In order to maintain the rupee's exchange rate, stabilize the level of India's gold and foreign exchange reserves, which had declined by 2000 due to rising oil prices on the world market (due to instability in the Persian Gulf region) and a slowdown in direct investment inflows, the State Bank of India introduced a new five-year policy between October 21 and November 6, 2000. One scheme is The India Millennium Deposits Scheme. In accordance with this scheme, foreign currency deposits were accepted from NIPS. The yield depended on the currency: for deposits in US dollars, the percentage was 8.5%, in pounds sterling-7.85%, in euros-6.85%. A distinctive feature of these investments was the possibility of full repatriation of both accrued interest and the amount originally invested. In addition, they were completely exempt from taxation 12. Over $5.5 billion has been mobilized under this scheme.


Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, which began in the United States and seriously affected mainly the developed world, NIP confidence in the Indian economy increased again in fy2008/09 and fy2009/10. The outflow of funds was replaced by inflows in the first 4 months of FY2010 / 11, despite the volatility of interest rates.

According to the RBI, the total amount of accumulated deposits of non-governmental organizations during the most difficult crisis period of fy2008/09 decreased by $2.05 billion. and by the end of March 2009, it amounted to $41.55 billion. However, by July 2009, it had already increased to $45.3 billion. (at the same time, it reached $14.16 billion for FCNR (B), $25.22 billion for NR(E)RA, and $5.9 billion for NRO).

Currently, NIP deposits mainly come to India from the Middle East, and they are cheaper for Indian banks than domestic deposits.13

The largest player in the NIP deposit market remains the State Bank of India, which controls 23% of this market.

As practice has shown, the method of raising funds by attracting NIP deposits is very unstable and largely depends on the current economic situation both in the country and in the world as a whole. So, for example, in October 1990, a strong outflow of capital began, which only worsened the monetary and financial crisis in India. Moreover, during FY 1992/93, capital outflows from NIP deposits averaged more than $300 million per month. According to some Indian economists, " the crisis in India was not caused by trade, but by capital flight."

India's current focus is on encouraging long-term capital inflows that do not lead to debt generation. At the same time, the inflow of capital to India helps to solve the problem of lack of liquidity in the economy, and together with the import of managerial skills, it also contributes to the development of financial markets, which ultimately makes the financial system more viable and sustainable.

It is noteworthy that the existence of very attractive interest rates in India, together with the steadily increasing ones over the past decade-

page 58

Table 2

Net inflow/outflow of funds on NIP deposits ($ bn)*


Fiscal year 2007/08

Fiscal year 2008/09

FY 2009/10

FY 2010/11 (April-December)

Total inflow








- 0,2

- 0,05







- 0,96

- 1,73



* FCNR (B) - Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Banks) Accounts - bank currency accounts of NPCs; NR (E) RA - Non-Resident (External) Rupee Accounts - rupee accounts of NPCs; NRO - NRO Accounts - rupee and currency accounts of ordinary residents.

Source: compiled and calculated by the author on Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, Economic Division. Economic Survey 2009/10. February 2010, p. A 77.

Источник: составлено автором по:; its-down-by-a-third-in-april-december/articleshow/7544041.cms

As a result of the growing number of years of economic growth, there was an increase in opportunities for reselling purchased securities and, consequently, buying up securities for this purpose, which in turn ensured an increase in capital inflows from abroad.

On the other hand, having embarked on the path of foreign economic liberalization, India, like many other countries, is faced with the fact that an impressive influx of foreign capital complicates the implementation of monetary policy. The Ministry of Finance of India and the RBI have to take into account the fact that this influx creates a certain stress for the real sector of the economy, which is expressed in pressure on the exchange rate of the national currency and the need to sterilize the excess money supply. Moreover, not only exporters are affected, but also domestic producers (primarily in the small-scale manufacturing sector, which employs about a third of the economically active population of India), as prices for their goods are declining.

In addition, capital inflows Especially through the foreign exchange and equity markets, it is actually a channel for spreading the crisis phenomena inherent in the current unstable state of the global economy.

Although the special restrictive measures implemented by the RBI on stock exchanges restrict speculative operations using so-called short sales of securities*, however, certain difficulties periodically arise. For example, the Bombay Stock Exchange - BSE index, which peaked at 2,1206. 77 points on January 10, 2008, fell sharply on January 21, 2008 - by a record 1,408. 35 points during day 14, mainly as a result of the withdrawal of portfolio investments in the wake of concerns about the recession in the US economy. Only thanks to India's impressive gold and foreign exchange reserves at that time, which exceeded $304 billion, did the Indian financial authorities manage to prevent the negative impact of this "flight" on the economy.

* * *

Thus, due to the lack of domestic financial resources needed first to create basic industries in the first decades of independence, and then to stimulate economic growth and modernize the economy in the 1990s-2000s, India actively attracted resources from outside.

At the same time, loans were made on conditions that would allow them to pay off safely in the future. It was thanks to careful and gradual steps in liberalizing the mechanism of foreign capital inflows to the country that the problem of economic restructuring was solved, as well as gold and foreign exchange reserves were significantly increased.

In this regard, India's experience may also be useful to other countries implementing economic reforms, including liberalization (including Russia). ___

* Short sale of securities ("short") - sale on an exchange based on the depreciation of these securities. In order to prevent the collapse of stock exchange indices or certain securities, regulators sometimes impose a ban on such operations or set a daily limit on lowering their price (note: the price of the stock market is not allowed to fall). ed.).

1 IMF. World Economic Outlook Update. January 24, 2012. Global Recovery Stalls, Downside Risks Intensify, p. 2. Table 1. Overview of the World Economic Outlook Projections -

2 Ibidem.


4 Ibidem.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid.

7 Africa and Latin America account for the remaining 2% -


9 Ibidem.

10 Ibid.




14 The Hindu, 22.01.2008.


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