There are 272 Million International migrants in the world and Indians make up 6.4% of the world's total immigrant/expat population, per the United Nations Data. Indian expats are in a broad sense what we refer to as the Non-Resident Indian (NRI). Before we move on the NRI's contribution to the Indian economy, we define an NRI and an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)?
Related Article: Here's How Budgets Impact NRIs
According to the Income Tax Act of 1961, an Indian citizen settled in a foreign country for employment who is not physically present in the country for more than 240 days in a financial year is regarded as an Non-Resident Indian (NRI). This definition mirrors the one announced in the new Union Budget announcement of 2020. The proposal changed the original 182 days clause to 240 days.
Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is given to Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) who immigrated from India and subsequently acquired citizenship of a foreign country. This applies to everyone besides citizens of Bangladesh and Pakistan. This is applicable only to people whose home country allows dual citizenship in some form or the other under local laws.
Did you know that it is illegal for an NRI to hold domestic accounts in India? Know the laws of NRE/NRO account holding.
According to the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Indian origin migrants were the leading among the international migrants with 17.5 million population out of the total migrant population of 272 million. The Middle Eastern countries account for the majority of Indian expats, followed by the USA, the UK, and Canada.
NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) contribute to the Indian economy significantly. It aids the Indian economy at a large-scale specifically generating employment internally by strengthening national savings, capital accumulation, investment, and so on. On the small-scale, the remittance received by the family members is used to meet their basic needs, and open up opportunities for investing in education, health care, and so forth.
NRI contribution to India's GDP is significant especially in these times of economic slowdown. The RBI has directed the Indian banks to attract NRI deposits by giving them the options of numerous short and long term investment plans.
Remittance plays an important part in developing countries in terms of their economic systems, individual households, and businesses. As per the World Bank, remittance inflows are a measure of the creditworthiness of a nation which implies it can borrow more money.
Since 1991, India has been steadily experiencing great remittance growth and continues to be on that track. There has been a significant surge of remittances from 2016 ($62.75 billion) to 2017 ($68.97). In 2018, the World Bank estimated remittance of India to be the highest in the world with $79 billion, followed by China and Mexico at $67 billion and $36 billion respectively. These remittances constituted 2.9 % of India's GDP and remittances formed the country's foreign exchange money of roughly around 22% to 23%.
According to a survey by Reserve Bank of India, 59.2% of the remittance amount received in India was used for family maintenance. And Bank deposits amounted to about 20% while 8% were invested in equity shares, property, real estate.
It is clear how NRIs' money transfers are helping the Indian economy. NRI contribution to the Indian economy is significant because each transfer increases the country's foreign exchange pool and is the major source of foreign currency inflow. Remittances increase the purchasing power of people which drives the consumption market and move the demand and supply forward.
Further, helping the financial constraints in the family that now they can invest in a business or save for emergencies or social security for the elderly and relatives. Besides, it can increase the local economy. To simply put, remittances are personal flows from NRIs to their families, friends, or relatives and a contribution to the stability of the various economies.
NRI can play a significant role in shaping the country's financial, social and economic conditions. In the last few years, NRIs have started merging into varied activities in India including market development such as outsourcing, technology transfer, tourism, and other contributions namely in political and substantial flows of knowledge.
With India's current economic slowdown, the NRI contribution can have a positive impact on reviving the economy. Many NRI businesses like UAE based companies-Lulu International, NMC Healthcare, etc. have announced major multi-million investment projects in India. However, newer initiatives by the government are needed to attract more NRIs to invest in the country. The investment of NRI in India's market and other government developmental activities will help in building better healthcare, education, social protection, and other sustainable growth in the country. This will also help to cut down government spending in the long run.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to make the Indian economy a $5 trillion economy by 2024 and subsequently a $10 trillion economy by 2030. He also mentioned that the target is to make $1.7 trillion worth of investments in the next five years. The central government has initiated various steps to ensure that its target is achieved. Besides, NRIs are encouraged to invest in several sectors like real estate, education, businesses, infrastructure development, etc. Indian banks are also directed to attract NRI deposits and to open bank accounts in order to help build their financial assets and for investment purposes. We will have to wait and watch. Follow us on Twitter @CompareRemit for regular updates on all things remittances and NRI.
If you are in search of cheap money transfer options to send money to India from the US, you have come to the right blog!With countless options available in the money transfer marketplace, it is important to know how to navigate the labyrinth of international money transfer services to find the most affordable and secure solution.This blog is your guide to achieve just that-affordable, cheap, and secure money transfers to India from the USA.Say goodbye to hidden fees and unfavorable exchange rates as we uncover tips, and services that will empower you to make your international money transfers a breeze.Understanding International Money Transfer CostsAn international money transfer's cost depends on a few key factors:Exchange RatesIf you want to send money in a different currency, it is crucial to understand the intricacies of currency exchange rates.When you send money internationally, the financial institution or service provider handling your transaction will convert your USD to INR. This conversion rate is where they make a profit, typically offered at a rate higher than the real exchange rates.To ensure you are getting a fair deal, compare what you are quoted with the real exchange rates, which you can find on any of the currency conversion tools such as XE, Reuters, etc.While the exchange rate is not a fee, it significantly impacts the cost of the money transfers. It determines the final amount your beneficiary receives.Given that exchange rates fluctuate due to market conditions, it's best to consider these fluctuations when sending money transfers to India from the USA.Correspondent FeesSome money transfer services use third-party banks to facilitate international money transfers. This third party usually deducts a certain fee from the amount that your beneficiary finally receives. The fees vary depending on the banks and are typically not shown upfront.CommissionThis fee is imposed by the service provider and the exact amount can differ from one provider to another.Foreign Currency Conversion TaxIt is applied when you are converting one currency to another. The fee is typically consistent and follows rates established by the government. It's important to be aware that this tax is associated with currency conversion transactions.Service TaxService tax is a charge applied to the commission, not the entire transaction amount. In other words, the percentage applied for service tax is based on the commission fee imposed by the service provider, not the total amount of the transaction.Why Transferring Money to India from the US isn't the Cheapest Through Banks?We all know banks have been the traditional method for sending money overseas for a long time. However, they aren't always the cheapest and most efficient method.They charge exorbitant fees, offer you poor exchange rates, and often have hidden charges that will increase the overall cost of the transfers.In addition, even a simple international money transfer involves a lot of paperwork, long waits, and complicated bank procedures.Your best bet for cheap money transfer options would be online money transfer services. These dedicated money transfer platforms offer much better rates and overall better services.A website or mobile app is all you need to place the money transfer order and complete the transaction. These platforms are available 24x7 so you can place an order at any time, at your convenience.Cheapest Ways to Send Money to India from the USBefore you decide on which service is best for transfers to India from the US, it is important to know that the cheapest method will depend on your specific requirements such as the transfer size, the transfer speed, the payment method, and the delivery method.Also, note that the cheapest method may not be the best method for your needs.Here are a few tips to help you choose the right service:Consider the reliability of the option you are choosing.Take into account the exchange rate, hidden fees, customer ratings, and time taken to do the transfer as well.Another very important feature is convenience.Now let's get to the main topic of the blog which is the cheapest ways to transfer money to India from US.WiseWise is one of the cheapest online money transfer services to send money anywhere in the world. The service is far more affordable, quicker, and more convenient for anyone looking to send money from the US.Upsides:Real Exchange Rates: Wise uses a mid-market exchange rate or the real exchange rate. It’s the rate you see on Google or XE. This will save you from the exorbitant exchange rates that are typically masked as free or zero-commission transactions.Low Fees: The fixed cost consists of a flat fee of about $1 and a percentage of the transfer value, slightly less than 1%. Credit card fees are higher. Using a debit card or an ACH transfer from your bank account is cheaper.Upfront Costs: You will see the costs for your overseas transfers upfront and be assured that you will only pay what you see!Free First Transfer: You can use the referral link which will exempt you from the transfer fee on your first transfer.High App Ratings. Users rate Wise’s iOS and Android mobile apps 4.3 out of 5 stars.Fast Transfer Speed: 50%+ of payments are instant, 90%+ arrive in 24 hoursDownsides:Not Always the Best Deal for Larger Transfers. Some providers don't charge any fees and can offer competitive rate markups, which can make some transfers cheaper than Wise.XE Money TransferWith over 25 years of experience, XE is a reputable authority in the currency world. Businesses and individuals alike rely on XE to facilitate comprehensive money transfers and provide competitive rates and foreign exchange risk management solutions.Upsides:Competitive Exchange Rates: XE Money Transfers typically provides favorable exchange rates that are close to the interbank rates.No Transfer Fees: They often do not charge any transfer fees.Cheaper for Large Transfers: It offers the cheapest rates for large transfers ($4000 and above). A good pick for large bank-to-bank transfers.Transparent Pricing: XE offers clear and detailed information about the exchange rates and any potential fees, ensuring you know exactly how much your recipient will receive.Market Updates and Tools: You have access to valuable market insights, currency conversion tools, and historical exchange rate data, helping you make informed decisions when transferring money.Downsides:Limited Delivery Option: Only offers bank-to-bank transfers.Complex Fee Structure: The fees of XE can be somewhat complex and may not be the cheapest out there. Additionally, the recipient's bank may impose additional fees for receiving international transfers, and these fees are beyond the control of XE money transfers.SkrillSkrill is a trusted e-wallet platform that enables international money transfers over 40 currencies. Though it is originally associated with the gambling industry, it is a safe and secure platform. It was founded in the UK and it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.Upsides:Zero Transfer Fees: If you have a Skrill account, you can send money to an international bank account with zero transfer fee. There are also no transfer fees for receiving the money to your Skrill account or when paying a merchant directly from your Skrill wallet.Prepaid Mastercard: Skrill offers a prepaid Mastercard linked to your account that can be used to withdraw money from ATMs and make in-person purchases.Multi-Currency Wallet: You can hold and manage multiple currencies within your Skrill account, enabling you to make exchanges and send money in different currencies with ease.Downsides:Verification Process: Some users have found the verification process for Skrill accounts to be cumbersome and time-consuming.Fees: Skrill may charge fees for certain transactions, including currency conversions and withdrawals, which can make it less cost-effective for some people.Inactivity Fees: Skrill may charge inactivity fees for accounts that remain dormant for an extended period, which can be a concern if you do not use the service frequently.Withdrawal Restrictions: There may be limits on the amount of money you can withdraw from your Skrill account, which can be restrictive if you have larger transfer needs.RemitlyRemitly is among the most affordable and popular international money transfer providers for sending money to India from the US. Founded in 2011, millions of people have used Remitly to send money to friends and family overseas.Upsides:Competitive Exchange Rates: Remitly offers competitive USD to INR exchange ratesBest Option of In-person Cash Pick-up: Opt for cash pick-up at 100,000+ locations in India.Multiple Transfer Options: Provides different delivery options, including bank deposits, cash pickup, mobile money, and airtime top-up.Promotional Offers: Remitly occasionally offers promotional rates and discounts for new users. You can also earn rewards when you refer your friends and family and use an offer code to redeem an offer.Express and Economy Services: Offers both express and economy transfer services, allowing users to choose the speed of their transactions, with corresponding fee differences.Transparent Fee Structure: Provides clear information on transfer fees and exchange rates.Downsides:Fees for Express Transfers: While Remitly may offer lower fees for economy transfers, the fees for express transfers can be relatively high due to its faster delivery speed.Inconsistent Transfer Fees: Transfer Fees vary depending on the country and quantity transferred.Limits on Transfer Amounts: There may be limits on the amount of money you can send or receive which can be a concern for users with larger transfer needs.InstaremBased out of Singapore since 2014, Instarem makes money transfers easy, quick, and reliable for everyone who needs to send or receive money. One of the top picks for those looking to transfer money from the US to India at an affordable rate.Upsides:Competitive Exchange Rates: They offer competitive exchange rates, which means you get more money in your recipient's currency compared to other providers.Low Fees: They charge low fees for their services, which can save you money on your international transfers. (Anywhere between 0.25% to 1% in fees).No Hidden Charges: Unlike some of its competitors, Instarem has no hidden fees or charges, so you can be sure of the total cost of your transfer upfront.Fast Transfer Times: Offers fast transfer times, with some transfers arriving within minutes or hours, depending on the recipient country and payment method.Reward Points: You earn 25 InstaPoints when you sign up. Earn an additional 100 InstaPoints when you complete your e-verification in the first 36 hours after you sign up. You can redeem these points in your next transfer.Downsides:Only Allow Bank-to-Bank Transfers: Instarem supports only bank-to-bank transfers, and alternative methods such as bill payments, cash-pickup, and mobile top-up options are not available.Transfer Limits: There may be limits on the amount of money you can send or receive, which may be not ideal for larger transfers.SBICSBIC or State Bank of India-California is a branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) located in California, USA. It provides various banking and financial services to individuals, businesses, and the Indian community in California.Upsides:Indian Diaspora Services: SBIC caters to the needs of the Indian diaspora in the US, offering services and solutions tailored to this community, such as NRI accounts and remittances.Fee-Free Online Bank Transfers: With SBIC’s remittance service, you can transfer directly to any bank in India online at zero costs within a few hours.Competitive USD to INR Exchange Rates: The exchange rates are subject to change and can vary based on the transfer amount and transfer method. For example, tiered exchange rates for in-branch transfers mean the higher the transfer amount, the higher the exchange rate.Downsides:Limited Coverage: The physical presence of SBI California is limited to a few locations in California, which can be inconvenient for customers outside those areas.Limited Currency Options: SBI California primarily deals in Indian Rupees (INR) and may have limited currency exchange options for other currencies, which may not be suitable for all customers.Time Zone Differences: Time zone differences between California and India can result in delays in customer support and transaction processing during certain hours.ICICIICIC Bank is India's largest private-sector bank. The bank launched Money2India, an online remittance service to facilitate money transfers to India from countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Singapore, and UAE at some of the best exchange rates available in the market.Money2India was founded with the aim to cater to Non-resident Indians sending money to India.Upsides:Well-Established Institution: ICICI Bank is a reputable and well-established financial institution, which can instill confidence in customers regarding the security of their funds and transactions.Hassle-free Bank Account Transfer: One of the best options to send money to a quick transfer to an Indian bank account.Competitive Exchange Rates: ICICI Bank offers competitive exchange rates, especially for larger transfer amounts.Accessible to Non-ICICI Customers: Sign-up is open to everybody and not restricted to ICICI Bank customers.Quick Pay Feature: Repeat a transaction in only 3 clicks. Set up recurring transfers or schedule a transfer for the future, minimizing your hassle.Downsides:Complex Transfer Fee Structure: There isn’t a way to estimate your transfer fee until right before you confirm your transfer. Not Ideal for Small Transfers: The less money you transfer, the poorer the exchange rate you get in comparison to if you are sending a large sum of money. WorldRemitWorldRemit is a leading digital money transfer provider that lets you send money to all states and Union territories in India from the U.S.WorldRemit is a low-cost alternative to other high-street bank transfers. It is also one of the fastest ways to send money abroad.Upsides:Multiple Sending Options: Users can choose from various sending options, including bank transfers, cash pickup, mobile money, airtime top-ups, and more. This flexibility allows you to tailor your transfers to the recipient's needs.Lower Transfer Fees: Charges lower transfer fees than other similar money transfer companies.Transparent Fees: It is known for its transparent fee structure, with clear and upfront information about the charges involved in a money transfer.Fee-Free Transfers Offer: The first 3 transfers for new customers are free of cost.Speed: Many transfers are completed within minutes, especially if using services like mobile money or cash pickup. This can be crucial in emergency situations.Downsides:Inconsistent Transfer Fees: Costs include transfer fees and a markup on the exchange rate, and can vary depending on the delivery method you choose - which can get expensive.Transfer Limits: WorldRemit imposes certain transfer limits, which vary depending on the destination country.Limited Delivery Options: All delivery methods are not available in all locations. This can be a drawback for users who prefer a specific delivery method.PlacidPlacid Express was established over two decades ago and offers international payment services to a range of countries in Europe and Asia including India. Placid offers easy and economical cross-border money transfers because of its direct partnerships with a number of banks and financial institutions.Upsides:Competitive Rates: Placid offers competitive exchange rates, which can result in cost savings for users compared to traditional banks.Low Fees: Placid's fees for money transfers are lower than those charged by traditional banks and some other online transfer services, making it a cost-effective choice.Fast Transfers: Many Placid transfers are processed swiftly. For direct bank account transfers, it can take 3 business days. If you pay with a card, the money gets delivered in as little as 10 minutes in some cases.SpotCash! Service: This service allows your recipient to collect the payment in local cash from an agent.Downsides:Fees: The transfer costs for card payments are fairly high.Limited Coverage: Placid may not be available in all countries, so the range of countries you can money is limited.Potential Transfer Delays: A few things could slow down the transaction, like the recipient's bank's processing time or the delays caused by the intermediary bank.Transfer Limits: Placid has limits on the amount of money that can be sent within specific time frames. This can be inconvenient for people or businesses with large transaction needs.User-Friendly Interface: Some people have noted that Placid’s website is not the most user-friendly, especially for those not familiar with online remittances. ConclusionSending money to India from the US doesn't have to be a costly endeavor. With the right approach and using the various options available for cheap money transfers, you can save both time and money when you send money to India from USA.Whether you're supporting your family back in India, making investments, or simply need to transfer funds for any reason, the key is to stay informed, explore your options, and choose the one that best suits your needs.You can make your international money transfers more affordable and efficient by comparing exchange rates and fees and considering digital remittance service providers.To find the best dollar-to-rupee rate, use CompareRemit for real-time USD to INR exchange rates from the best remittance providers to send money to India today!
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a time of joy, celebration, and the exchange of gifts. As Diwali 2023 approaches, finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be a delightful challenge. Whether you're running short on time or looking for thoughtful last-minute gift ideas for your sister for Bhai Dooj, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll explore the essence of Diwali, its significance, key dates, and suggest creative ways to send gifts using remittance services.What is Diwali? Diwali is a prominent Hindu festival celebrated with enthusiasm across India and among the global Indian diaspora. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil, with a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. A time full of vibrant rangoli, crackling firecrackers that light up the night, and aromatic food being passed around, Diwali spans five days of festivities, each with its own rituals and significance.Families illuminate their homes with diyas (oil lamps) and candles, create beautiful rangoli designs, and indulge in sweets and savories.Why is Diwali Celebrated?Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It's a time to seek blessings for prosperity and happiness. The exchange of gifts during Diwali is a way to show love and appreciation for one another, enhancing the festive spirit.Key Dates for Diwali 2023:Dhanteras: November 10, 2023The first day of Diwali, dedicated to the worship of Lord Dhanvantari (the physician of the gods) and goddess Lakshmi. People buy gold, silver, and utensils on this day.Naraka Chaturdashi (Choti Diwali): November 11, 2023On this day, Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. It's a day of cleansing and lighting lamps.Diwali (Main Day): November 12, 2023The most important day when families come together to perform Lakshmi Puja (worship) and light oil lamps or diyas to illuminate their homes.Govardhan Puja: November 13, 2023A day to worship Lord Krishna, who lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect the villagers from torrential rain.Bhai Dooj: November 14, 2023A day to celebrate the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters, with sisters applying tilak on their brothers' foreheads.Last-Minute Diwali Gift Ideas1. Digital Gift CardsConsider sending digital gift cards from popular online retailers. These cards allow your loved ones to choose their perfect gift, ensuring they get something they truly desire. Many remittance services offer the option to send digital gift cards along with money transfers, making it a convenient choice for last-minute gifts.2. Money TransfersSending money home for Diwali is a practical and thoughtful gift. Online remittance services like Wise, Instarem, Abound, Xe Money Transfer, Wo Transfer, etc. offer quick and secure transfers, enabling your family to make Diwali purchases, decorate their homes, and prepare delicious meals. It's a versatile gift that allows your loved ones the freedom to use the funds as they see fit.To find which money transfer service is the best one for you, check out our catalog of reviews and guides, all designed to help you see the complete ins and outs of the many remittance services on the market to make the best decision for your needs. We invite you to compare remittance providers using CompareRemit’s comparison tool today to find the best rates, lowest fees, and fastest turnaround times for your specific destination and transfer amount.3. Subscription ServicesGift subscriptions to streaming platforms, magazines, or online courses. These subscriptions offer entertainment and knowledge, making them valuable and enjoyable gifts for your loved ones.4. Personalized Diwali HampersPut together a personalized Diwali hamper with traditional sweets, homemade treats, and small decorative items. Include a heartfelt Diwali card to add a personal touch. Sending a picture of the hamper along with a digital money transfer can be a delightful surprise for your family.5. Online Shopping VouchersOnline shopping vouchers from popular e-commerce platforms allow your loved ones to pick their favorite items. These vouchers can often be emailed directly, making them an excellent last-minute gift option.In the spirit of Diwali, the joy of giving is unparalleled. Embrace the true essence of the festival by spreading happiness, love, and prosperity. Even in the last minutes leading up to Diwali, these thoughtful and practical gift ideas ensure your loved ones feel cherished and valued. Utilize reliable remittance services to make these gestures of love possible, bridging the distance and connecting hearts across the globe.For all of your money transfer needs, visit our homepage for more information on how to find the best option for you and your family this Diwali. Here you will be able to compare exchange rates between the top remittance companies, find the best rates, learn how to get started, receive exclusive offers, and more. This Diwali, let your gifts illuminate the lives of your dear ones, just like the radiant glow of diyas brightens the darkest of nights. Happy Diwali!
As the festival of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, approaches, families and friends worldwide are gearing up to celebrate this joyous occasion. Diwali is not only a time for spiritual significance but also an opportunity to connect with loved ones, near and far. Sending money home during Diwali can be a tricky endeavor, especially with the myriad of special offers available. In this article, we introduce you to a standout offer from the State Bank of India (California). Discover how SBIC's Diwali Remittance Offer can make your festival brighter.Introducing SBIC Diwali Remittance OfferThis Diwali, let your love, happiness, and prosperity reach your loved ones in India through a heartwarming remittance with SBIC. To enhance your celebrations, SBIC is thrilled to extend to you an exclusive exchange rate benefit: send money to India and receive 20 paisa higher than SBIC’s regular base exchange rate! This offer is designed exclusively for the Diwali season, allowing you to make your remittances go even further.Diwali holds a special place in our hearts, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness. It is a time to illuminate lives, bridge distances, and create beautiful memories. What better way to partake in this joyous occasion than by sending your Diwali Remittance through SBIC?Hurry, Limited Period Offer: Wednesday, November 01 – Thursday, November 16, 2023 Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity! SBIC's Diwali Remittance Offer is valid for a limited period only. Make sure to seize this chance to send your love and blessings to your family and friends in India.Why SBIC’s Diwali Remittance Offer Stands Out:Exclusive Exchange Rate Benefit: SBIC is offering an exchange rate that is 20 paisa higher than their regular base rate, ensuring you get more value for your money.Trusted Service: State Bank of India (California) is a trusted name in the banking industry, providing reliable and secure money transfer services.Limited Time Offer: This exclusive Diwali offer is valid only from November 01 to November 16, 2023. Act fast to take advantage of this special rate.How to Avail SBIC’s Diwali Remittance Offer with CompareRemit:Navigating through various Diwali offers can be overwhelming, but CompareRemit makes it effortless for you. Use our comparison tool to compare and contrast live rates across multiple money transfer companies. Here's how you can find the best deal for your Diwali Remittance:Visit CompareRemit: Go to www.compareremit.com and enter your details, including the amount you wish to send and the destination country (India).Compare Live Rates: Our platform will instantly provide you with live rates from various remittance companies, including SBIC.Choose the Best Deal: Compare the rates, fees, and delivery options to select the best deal that suits your needs and budget.Send Your Diwali Remittance: Once you've chosen the ideal offer, follow the simple steps to send your Diwali Remittance and make your loved ones' celebrations even more special.Remember, terms and conditions apply, and an account with SBIC is required to send the remittance. For more details, don't hesitate to contact SBIC directly.This Diwali, let your love shine brighter and your blessings travel farther. With SBIC’s exclusive Diwali Remittance Offer and CompareRemit’s user-friendly platform, you can make your celebrations truly unforgettable. Warm wishes for a radiant and prosperous Diwali!
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