The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) latest data shows Indians spent more than $1 billion monthly on average on international travelling during April-December 2022-23 period. The numbers are significantly higher than pre-Covid levels.

The RBI data shows for April-December period of 2022-23, the outward remittances from India under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) for the purpose of travel stood at $9.95 billion, up from $4.16 billion during the same period last year and $5.4 billion during FY21.

According to the RBI guidelines issued in October 2021, under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to $2,50,000 per financial year (April–March) for any permissible current or capital account transaction or both.

The scheme was introduced on February 4, 2004, with a limit of $25,000 but it has been revised in stages considering the prevailing macro and micro economic conditions.

In the case of the remitter being a minor, the LRS declaration form must be countersigned by the minor’s natural guardian. The scheme is not available to corporates, partnership firms, HUF, trusts, etc. Under the scheme, remittance purchase of lottery tickets/sweep stakes, proscribed magazines, etc.) or any item restricted under Schedule II of Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000, are prohibited.

Remittance from India for margins or margin calls to overseas exchanges or remittances for the purchase of FCCBs issued by Indian companies in the overseas secondary market are also prohibited.

Individuals can avail of foreign exchange facilities for private visits to any country, except Nepal and Bhutan, gift or donation, going abroad for employment, emigration, maintenance of close relatives abroad, travel for business, or attending a conference or specialised training or for meeting expenses for meeting medical expenses, or check-up abroad, or for accompanying as attendant to a patient going abroad for medical treatment or check-up.

Expenses in connection with medical treatment abroad and studies abroad and any other current account transaction, which is not covered under the definition of the current account in FEMA 1999, are also covered in it.

Meanwhile, Indians are displaying strong intention to move to another country as across age groups, the preference to move abroad is the highest in India when compared to global respondents, the latest report by CBRE South Asia said. Around 16% have already relocated in the past two years, while 17% of Indians are planning to relocate in the next two years, shows the survey data.

It found respondents displayed a stronger intention to move to a new home in the next two years -- 44% vs 31% in the previous two years, which is significantly higher when compared to both global and APAC respondents.

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