UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – South Asia Economic Focus (SAEF)
The South Asia Economic Focus is a biannual (twice-a-year) economic update presenting the recent economic developments and a near-term economic outlook for the South Asian region. A Focus section that presents more in-depth analysis of an economic topic of relevance for stability, growth, and prosperity in the region, as well as country briefs covering Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan is also included in the report.
The report concludes with a data section providing key economic indicators for South Asia “at a glance.” Overall, the report aims at providing important background information and timely analysis of key indicators and economic and financial developments of relevance to World Bank Group operations and interaction with counterparts in the region, particularly during the annual and spring meetings.
- The World Bank Report says, India must create 8.1 million jobs annually.
- It has projected the growth rate in India to increase further to 7.5% in the coming two years and suggested that New Delhi must strive to accelerate the exports and investments in order to take advantage of the global growth recovery.
- India has recovered from the withdrawal of large denomination bank notes in November 2016 (demonetization), and the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017.
- The report also said that the area has regained its lead as the fastest growing region in the world, supported by recovery in India.
- SAEF finds that the South Asia region could even extend its lead over East Asia and the Pacific.
Much of the progress, however, is driven by India’s growth rebound and is not consistent across countries.
- Despite accelerating global growth and trade, exports remain weak.
- Progress on fiscal consolidation is slow, and deficits are high.
What should be done?
- The report argues that growth alone would not suffice to attain the higher employment rates enjoyed by other developing countries, especially among women. Providing opportunities to these young entrants while attracting more women into the labour market, would require generating even more jobs for every point of economic growth.
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