According to latest survey released by the international rights group Oxfam, richest 1% in India cornered 73% of the wealth generated in country in 2017. The survey shows worrying picture of rising income inequality.
It was released as part of report titled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’, revealing how global economy enables wealthy elite to accumulate vast wealth even as hundreds of millions of people struggle to survive on poverty pay.
Highlights of Report
Globally 82% of wealth generated in 2017 worldwide went to 1%, while 3.7 billion people that account for poorest half of population saw no increase in their wealth. Year 2017 saw unprecedented increase in number of billionaires, at rate of one every two days.
Billionaire wealth has risen by average of 13% year since 2010. It was six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers, which have risen by a yearly average of just 2%. Women workers often find themselves at bottom of the heap and nine out of 10 billionaires are men.
In India, 67 crore population comprising the population’s poorest half saw their wealth rise by just 1%. Wealth of India’s richest 1% increased by over Rs 20.9 lakh crore, an amount equivalent to total budget of central government in 2017-18.
India’s top 10% of population holds 73% of the wealth and 37% of India’s billionaires have inherited family wealth. They control 51% of the total wealth of billionaires in the country. There are only four women billionaires in India and three of them inherited family wealth.
It will take 941 years for minimum wage worker in rural India to earn what top paid executive at a leading Indian garment firm earns in year.
The report has urged Indian government to ensure that country’s economy works for everyone and not just the fortunate few. It asked government to promote inclusive growth by encouraging labour-intensive sectors that will create more jobs; effectively implementing the social protection schemes and investing in agriculture.