Revealing India's Income Inequality, Survey Says Richest 1% Pocket 73% Of Nation’s Wealth
A survey reports the gap between the rich and poor in India widens with its richest 1% bagging 73% of the country’s wealth. As per the survey released by Oxfam, an international rights group, 67 crore Indians comprising the countries poorest population have their wealth rise by just 1%. This Oxfam survey reports came hours before the beginning of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The report, titled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’, reveals that wealthy people accumulate huge wealth and the gap between the poor and the rich widens. Last year’s survey had shown that India’s wealthiest 1% held 58% of the country’s total wealth which was higher than the global figure of about 50%.
There is an increase of Rs 20.9 lakh crore in the wealth of India’s richest 1% during 2017. Oxfam India said that this amount was equivalent to the union budget 2017-18. With PM Narendra Modi attending the conference in Davos, Oxfam India urged the Indian government to ensure the country’s economy caters the needs of everyone. “It would take around 17.5 days for the best-paid executive at a top Indian garment company to earn what a minimum wage worker in rural India will earn in their lifetime (presuming 50 years at work),” Oxfam said.
According to the survey, India added 17 new billionaires last year, and a total of 104 billionaires were added globally. “2017 saw an unprecedented increase in the number of billionaires, at a rate of one every two days. Billionaire wealth has risen by an average of 13% a year since 2010 -six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers, which have risen by a yearly average of just 2%,” the report said.
The survey shows that nine out of 10 billionaires are men. According to the report, there are only four women billionaires in India, and three of them inherited family wealth. “Women workers often find themselves off at the bottom of the heap. Across the world, women consistently earn less than men and are concentrated in the lowest paid and least secure forms of work. By comparison, 9 out of 10 billionaires are men,” the report said.
They also urged the government to encourage labour sectors like agriculture and other industries that will create more jobs. Oxfam also pointed out the need of adopting measures against tax evasion and avoidance, imposing a higher tax on the super-rich and removing corporate tax breaks.
Over 72% respondents believed that there is an urgent need of addressing the issue and over 15% responded that it was difficult for a person to increase their wealth despite working hard.