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Current Affair Diary 14/10/2020

South Asia Economic Focus Report

✓Biennial South Asia Economic Focus report was recently released.

✓Released by: World Bank

✓Title of the edition: “Beaten or Broken? Informality and Covid-19”.

✓The report includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

✓It predicts that the extended closure of schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic could reduce India’s future earnings by between 420 billion USD and 600 billion USD.

✓This is so because depleted learning levels of students will translate into poorer productivity.

✓Around 5.5 million students could drop out of schools across South Asia.

✓391 million students have been kept out of school in primary and secondary education due to lockdown.

✓Dropouts and learning losses would cost South Asia as much as 622 billion USD in future earnings and GDP.

✓Also, due to the closure of schools, the children may have forgotten their previous learnings.

✓The average child in South Asia may lose 4,400 USD in lifetime earnings once having entered the labour market, equivalent to 5% of total earnings.

✓Impact on Informal Sector: The report has flagged damage to businesses, consumption patterns and imposed social hardship on poor and vulnerable households, especially urban migrants and informal workers in the South Asia region.

✓GDP: The regional GDP of the South Asia region is estimated to contract by 7.7% in 2020. India’s GDP can contract by 9.6% in 2020-21.

✓Labour productivity will also take a greater hit from Covid-19 than most previous natural disasters.


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