Data on Inequality in India

As of January 2018:

1) India added 17 new billionaires last year, raising the number to 101 billionaires.

2) Indian billionaires’ wealth increased by INR 4891 billion —from INR 15,778 billion to over INR 20,676 billion. INR 4891 billion is sufficient to finance 85 per cent of the all states’ budget on Health and Education.

3) 73 percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent, while 67 crore Indians who comprise the poorest half of the population saw one percent increase in their wealth.

4) In the last 12 months the wealth of this elite group increased by Rs 20,913 billion. This amount is equivalent to total budget of Central Government in 2017-18. 

5) 37% of India’s billionaires have inherited (family) wealth. They control 51 per cent of the total wealth of billionaires in the country

6) Only four women billionaires in India and three of them inherited family wealth.

7) Between 2018 till 2022, India is estimated to produce 70 new millionaires every day

8) Number of billionaires has increased from only 9 in 2000 to 101 in 2017

9) 51 billionaires out of the total 101 are 65 years or above and own Rs 10,544 billion of total wealth. 

If we assume that in the next 20 years, at least Rs 10,544 billion will be passed on to the inheritors and on that if 30% inheritance tax is imposed, the Government can earn at least Rs 3176 billion. Rs 3176 billion sufficient to finance 6 crucial services–Medical & Public Health, Family Welfare, Water & Sanitation, Housing, Urban Development and Labour & Labour Welfare in all States.

10) Over the next 20 years, 500 of the world’s richest people will hand over $2.4 trillion to their heirs – a sum larger than the GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people.

11) In countries like India and the Philippines, at least one in every two workers in the garment sector are paid below the minimum wage (refer to Figure 9 in the report).

12) It would take 941 years for a minimum wage worker in rural India to earn what the top paid executive at a leading Indian garment company earns in a year.

13) 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)

14) It would cost around Rs 326 million a year to ensure 14,764 minimum wage workers in rural India were paid a living wage. This is about half the amount paid out to wealth shareholders of a top Indian garment company. 

15) India’s top 10% of population holds 73% of the wealth.

Source: Oxfam India

Categories: POINT IAS

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