Current Affairs - January 2017

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Richest 1% own 58% of total wealth in India: Oxfam Study

According to study conducted by rights group Oxfam, India’s richest 1% now hold a huge 58% of the country’s total wealth, indicating rise income inequality. It is higher than the global figure of about 50%.

It shows that 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($216 billion) as that of the bottom 70% population of the country. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the wealth as the poorest 50 % of the world population.

Key Findings of Study
  • The total global wealth in the year 2016 was $255.7 trillion of which about $6.5 trillion was held by billionaires, led by Bill Gates ($75 billion), Amancio Ortega ($67 billion) and Warren Buffett($60.8 billion).
  • Globally, just 8 billionaires have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of the world population.
  • Since 2015, richest 1 % owned more wealth than the rest of the planet. Over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $ 2.1 trillion to their heirs (a sum larger than GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people).
  • Over the last two decades, richest 10% of the populations in China, Laos, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have seen their share of income increase by more than 15%.
  • Poorest Sections: The poorest half of world has less wealth than had been previously thought. The poorest 10% have seen their share of income fall by more than 15%.
  • Solution: It calls to build a human economy that benefits everyone not just the privileged few.
  • In India, there are 84 billionaires with a collective wealth of $248 billion led by Mukesh Ambani ($19.3 billion), Dilip Shanghvi ($16.7 billion) and Azim Premji ($15 billion).
  • Gender pay gap: India suffers from huge gender pay gap. It has among the worst levels of gender wage disparity (men earning more than women in similar jobs) and the gap exceeding 30%.
  • In India, women form 60% of the lowest paid wage labour but only 15% of the highest wage–earners. Thus, India women are poorly represented in top bracket of wage–earners and experience wide gender pay gap at the bottom.
  • Indian government must introduce inheritance tax and increase wealth tax as the proportion of this tax in total tax revenue is one of the lowest in India to end the extreme concentration of wealth and to end poverty.

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Union Commerce Ministry launches SEZ India app

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has launched a mobile application named “SEZ India” under its broader e-Governance initiative to help the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Units and Developers.

It will help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on Online System. It will also facilitate them to file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on the go through the SEZ India mobile app.

The app has four sections
  • SEZ Information: It consists of compendium of the SEZ Act, 2005, MOCI Circulars, SEZ Rules, 2006, details of SEZs and Units etc. and gives up to date comprehensive details on all these aspects.
  • Trade Information: It gives access to important information and tools such as Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), Hand Book of procedure, Customs & Excise Notification, Duty Calculator and MEIS Rates.
  • Contact Details: It consists of contact details of all Development Commissioners Office, DG System, DGFT, DGCI & S and SEZ online.
  • SEZ online Transaction: It dynamic submenu that tracks the Bill of Shipping/Entry Bill processing status and also does verification. It also helps the Exporters/Importers to track status of Shipping Bill/ Bill of Entry integration and processing in the EDI system of the ICEGATE.

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