Remittances from Central Asian labor migrants sharply decrease

India Economy

According to the Central Bank of Russia, in the first quarter of 2016 money remittances from Russia to CIS countries amounted to $914 million, which is almost twice as less than in the first quarter 2015 ($1.781 billion) and 3.7-fold less than in the same period in the pre-crisis year 2014 ($3.364 billion), The Times of Central Asia reports.

In January-March 2016, remittances to Uzbekistan amounted to $335 million (with a remittance average at $335), to Kyrgyzstan $150 million ($259), to Tajikistan $103 million ($155), to Kazakhstan $52 million ($442), and to Turkmenistan $2 million ($301).

Compared to the first quarter of last year, remittances to Uzbekistan decreased by 28 percent, to Tajikistan by 71 percent, to Kyrgyzstan by 35 percent, to Kazakhstan by 9 percent, and to Turkmenistan by 33 percent.

Uzbekistan remains the leader in terms of remittances from labor migrants working in Russia, followed by Kyrgyzstan which has moved Tajikistan to the third place. This is due to Kyrgyzstan’s membership of the Eurasian Economic Union and the fact that Kyrgyz citizens no longer need to buy expensive labor patents in Russia.

The main reasons behind such sharp decline in the remittances from Russia to Central Asian countries are the ruble’s devaluation and Russia’s tightened migration legislation which have resulted in decreasing labor migration to Russia, the Fergana information agency reported.

According to the latest available figures from Russia’s Federal Migration Service as of 5 April 2016, 1.755 million citizens of Uzbekistan, 588 thousand citizens of Kazakhstan, 574 thousand citizens of Kyrgyzstan, 878 thousand citizens of Tajikistan, and 24 thousand citizens of Turkmenistan stayed in the Russian Federation.

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