Vadodara: Kerala's nearly Rs 90,000 crore of NRI deposits, which is highest in the country, pales into oblivion when compared to the over Rs 1,000 crore that the members of this sleepy Dharmaj village near here cumulatively have in their banks.
The tiny Dharmaj village in Anand district, about 70 km from here, has a population of only 11,333 but has as many as 13 banks.
For the past several decades, NRIs in this village have been depositing money in banks and post offices and the kitty today has grown to over Rs 1,000 crore, making it one of the richest villages in the country and with the highest NRI deposits.
Deputy general manager of Vadodara division of Central Bank of India, R N Hirve told PTI that NRIs of this village prefer to park their money in banks which are mostly state-run banks and therefore the deposit in the banks have now cumulatively run into more than Rs 1,000 crore.
Rich flow of funds has made Dharmaj one of the richest and most literate villages not only in the state but across the country.
The over 3,000 Patidar families live life king size and zip past in swanky cars and almost every family in the village has a member sending in the money for several decades.
There as many as 1,700 families hailing from this village settled in Britain, around 300 families in the US, 160 in New Zealand, 200 in Canada, and 60 in Australia, among others, taking the total number of families staying abroad to around 3,120. (MORE)
Bank of Baroda leads in such funds with its branch in this village having about Rs 125 crore, followed by Dena Bank with Rs 100 crore.
As many as 13 major nationalised banks, private banks and a cooperative bank are located in this village. The other banks include State Bank of India, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, PNB, Corporation Bank and Dharmaj People's Cooperative Bank.
Dena Bank branch manager Arvind Vaghela said his bank was the first to open a branch in the village, that too way back in 1959.
It can be noted that Kerala, with tens of lakhs of its citizens living in foreign countries, has been the largest beneficiary of NRI deposits which had crossed Rs 84,000 crore last fiscal and is estimated to have sniffed at Rs 90,000 crore this fiscal.
With over USD 69 billion remittances in 2013, the country has been the largest beneficiary of the diaspora money, following by China with over USD 64 billion.
According to World Bank estimates, this year the NRI remittances will easily cross USD 70 billion. As per industry estimates, as much as USD 110 billion worth NRI funds are in various banks.