Steep fall in India’s economic growth; World Bank explains why poor will be most affected

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Updated: Apr 13, 2020 4:05 PM

1 in nearly 6 households in India has a member who is a migrant worker and the total number of migrant workers in India may be as high as 12 crores or more.

world bank, economic growth, india economy, south asia focus report, coronavirus, GDP growthThe impact of the steep fall in economic activity is expected to mostly hit the poor section of the society.(Bloomberg image)

As India is fighting coronavirus with a lockdown, the prolonged slowdown followed by the pandemic effect may drag the country’s economic growth within a range of 1.5 – 2.8 per cent in the current fiscal. The per capita income growth is also likely to deteriorate to 0.5-2.8 per cent, according to the World Bank. The impact of the steep fall in economic activity is expected to mostly hit the poor section of the society. The South Asia Economic Focus report has highlighted that the sudden loss of work on a large scale can make many migrant workers who have lost their job in cities to have no opportunity to stay there in the hope of finding other employment and thus the majority risks falling back into rural poverty.

Another reason is that the job losses are not concentrated in the manufacturing companies but are widespread in the domestic service sectors as well, where less-paid jobs requiring lower skill levels are present. On top of it, the poor are more likely to become infected by the virus and get ill, as it is more difficult for them to exercise social distancing and they also have more limited access to health care, the World Bank report added.

Also Read: Modi’s economic package just a relief, not stimulus; RBI monetary policy panel sounds red alert

1 in nearly 6 households in India has a member who is a migrant worker and the total number of migrant workers in India may be as high as 12 crores or more, the report said citing the National Sample Survey 2007-2008 and the migrant advocacy non-governmental organisation Aajeevika Bureau.

Meanwhile, a hit to the Indian economy is expected to make a deep scar on the economic growth of the South Asia region as India comprises 78 per cent of the region’s gross national income and has important links with other countries in the region through remittances, supply chains, and trade.

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