In the last few years, the number of Indian immigrants moving to work in the Gulf nations has declined, perhaps owing to slow down of their economic growth. Nations that are a part of the Gulf Cooperation Council have been adversely affected by the decline in oil prices. The decrease in Indian immigrants has been very crucial for 2014-2016.
The latest official statistics have revealed that 507, 296 Indian immigrants moved to GCC nations in 2016 which was a huge decline when compared to 775, 845 Indian immigrants in 2014.
Even though Islamic state disruptions were largely confined to Iraq and Syria, the resulting instability had an impact on the perception of the entire GCC region.
The decreased percentage of Indian immigrants to Gulf has also reduced the remittances from these nations. Though the exact statistics are not available, the balance of payments record for remittances indicated a slight decline. India received 65, 592 million dollars in 2015-16 while compared to the 69, 819 million dollars in 2014-15, as quoted by the Times of India.
The number of Indian immigrants to Saudi Arabia witnessed a steep decline. 165, 356 Indians immigrated in 2016 while compared to the 329, 882 in 2014 which was a sharp decline of 50%.
One of the reasons for the decline in immigration to Gulf is the regressive economic growth of Saudi Arabia owing to decreased oil prices. Moreover, in the last few years, the policy of Saudiisation is resulting in increased preference to Saudi nationals for jobs over immigrants.
Additionally, the government of Saudi Arabia has launched several fresh taxes or VAT in order to increase its revenue in the backdrop of decreasing oil prices. The Dependent tax is one such new tax that has been made effective from July 1, 2017. Starting from this date Saudi Arabia has levied the dependent tax on immigrants residing in the nation.
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