Update: Apr 21, 2021 1:27 PM STI
New Delhi [India], April 21 (ANI): Air pollution costs Indian businesses around $ 95 billion (around Rs 7 lakh crore) each fiscal year, or around 3% of India’s total GDP, according to a major report by research.
The cost is equal to 50 percent of all taxes collected annually or 150 percent of India’s health budget.
The conclusions of the report produced by Dalberg Advisors in partnership with Clean Air Fund and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) add urgency to the fight against air pollution by stressing that it imposes high economic costs as well as devastating health effects.
Dalberg estimates that Indian workers take 1.3 billion days off per year due to the adverse effects of air pollution on their health, which represents a loss of earnings of $ 6 billion.
Air pollution has also been shown to have significant effects on the cognitive and physical performance of workers, reducing their productivity at work and thus lowering business revenues by up to $ 24 billion.
Further impacting the national economy, the report found that poorer air quality also reduces consumers’ willingness to venture out of their homes, leading to lower footfall and ultimately $ 22 billion in revenue. less for businesses in contact with consumers.
India recorded 1.7 million premature deaths from air pollution in 2019, 18% of all deaths in India, a figure expected to increase by 2030, making India a major contributor the global economic cost of premature mortality.
In economic terms, the lost years of work cost the Indian economy $ 44 billion in 2019.
The report further shows that India’s IT sector, the source of 9% of the country’s GDP and a magnet for foreign investment, is disproportionately affected, losing $ 1.3 billion annually due to loss of productivity due to pollution.
If air pollution continues to increase at currently projected rates, that number could almost double by 2030.
India has become the fifth most polluted country in the world over the past decade and has 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. As India’s median age rises from 27 in 2019 to 32 in 2030, vulnerability to air pollution will increase as mortality from lung problems related to air pollution and lung cancer will increase at an accelerated rate, as these diseases tend to affect older people more severely.
Dalberg partner and Asia director Gaurav Gupta said the report shows how air pollution affects the overall health of businesses and the economy. While the government has taken strong action to tackle the problem, the focus on air pollution around the world has continued to be on its implications for public health.
“It has now become important for Indian companies to include air emissions in their income statements. Clean air is a prerequisite for business prosperity – and for India to achieve its vision of becoming a $ 5,000 billion economy by 2025. Achieving this goal would require industry leaders take more ownership and become defenders of the cleaner air movement, ”he said.
Seema Arora, deputy managing director of CII, said it’s clear that individual businesses – and their employees – have a vested interest in improving air quality.
“While there is a lot of thought to be done here, the business solutions to this trade crisis according to our findings include ‘green’ business operations and supply chains, adoption of renewable energy technology, emissions mitigation through CSR activities and campaigns for more ambitious pollution policies, ”she said.
“We believe that through active and sustained collaboration between the public and private sectors, a bluer sky and a healthier economy can soon become the reality of India,” Arora added.
The report notes that air pollution has a substantial impact on the Indian economy, alongside the impact on health and the environment, and that by improving air quality, India will not be only healthier but also richer.