Over US$2 billion worth of foreign exchange went out of the country as remittance towards tuition fees and other expenses by Indian students in 2008-09. In fact, there has been a more than 100% increase in remittance since 2006-07 when it stood at $1.1 billion. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena said that as on March 31, there are 81,690 Indians in Australia holding student visa. Meena said as per the partially revised figure US$2.247 billion went out as remittance towards education related payments in 2008-09 . He clarified that a country-wise break-up of forex outflow in terms of overseas students' tuition fees and expenses is not maintained.
There has been a steady increase in forex outflow on account of education since 2004-05 when it was US$642 million. The next year in 2005-06 it doubled to US$1.11 billion. Meena said remittance towards tuition fees is a current account transaction and RBI has delegated the powers to authorised dealers to allow remittances towards tuition fees without its prior approval.