World Bank’s Support to India
- 16 May 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
Recently, the World Bank has approved USD 1 billion for accelerating India’s Covid-19 Social Protection Response Programme.
- With this announcement, commitment from the World Bank towards emergency Covid-19 response in India has reached to USD 2 billion.
- Earlier, a USD 1 billion support was announced in April to support India’s health sector.
- Social Protection Response Programme:
- It is pivoted towards migrants, unorganised workers, informal sector, and creating an integration of the existing infrastructure of safety nets like the Public distribution system, Jan Dhan, Aadhar & mobile.
- It will expand the coverage of India’s social protection system by helping vulnerable groups access to more social benefits directly and across the country.
- Geographic portability would be introduced to ensure that social protection benefits could be accessed from anywhere in the country, providing relief to inter-State migrant workers.
- It will support the Government of India’s efforts towards a more consolidated delivery platform accessible to both rural and urban populations across state boundaries.
- Such a system will also strengthen India’s federalism by enabling and supporting states to respond quickly and effectively.
- Phased Implementation: This new support will be funded and operated in two phases:
- An immediate allocation of $750 million for fiscal year 2020 .
- A $250 million second tranche that will be made available for fiscal year 2021.
- First Phase: It will be implemented countrywide through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) to benefit vulnerable groups, particularly migrants and informal workers.
- Second phase: It would deepen the social protection package, whereby additional cash and in-kind benefits based on local needs will be extended through state governments and portable social protection delivery systems.
- Unprecedented introduction of social distancing and lock downs due to Covid-19, to slow down the spread of the virus, have impacted economies and jobs especially in the informal sector.
- Over 90% of India’s workforce is employed in the informal sector, without access to significant savings or workplace based social protection benefits such as paid sick leave or social insurance.
- Over 9 million migrants, who cross state borders to work each year, are also at greater risk as social assistance programmes in India largely provide benefits to residents .
- In an urbanising India, cities and towns need targeted support as its social protection programmes are focused on rural populations.
- Social protection is critical when half of India’s population earns less than $3 a day and are close to the poverty line.