We all know there’s a huge wealth divide between rich and poor. But this latest survey reveals it’s worse than we thought
A survey by Oxfam revealed that the fortunes of Indian billionaires swelled by ₹2,200 crores a day in 2018. The top 1% of the country’s richest got richer by 39% as against 3% increase in wealth for the bottom half of the population.
India also added 18 new billionaires last year, which raised the total number of billionaires in the country to 119. Their collective wealth crossed the $400 billion mark.
Oxfam also revealed that 13.6 crore Indians who make up the poorest 10% of the country continued to remain in debt since 2004.
For a more clear picture, the survey found that the combined revenue and capital expenditure of the centre and states for medical, public health, sanitation, and water supply is ₹2,08,166 which is less than Mukesh Ambani’s wealth of ₹2.8 lakh crore.
Oxfam International’s Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima, conveyed her dissent about it at the World Economic Forum –
If this obscene inequality between the top 1 percent and the rest of India continues then it will lead to a complete collapse of the social and democratic structure of this country.
She also said that it is morally outrageous that a few wealthy individuals are amassing a growing share of India’s wealth while the poor are struggling to eat their next meal or pay for their child’s medicines.
While the wealth of the billionaires soar, public services are suffering from severe underfunding. For the same, Oxfam suggested that if India’s richest 1% pay just 0.5% extra tax on their wealth, the government can increase spending on health by 50%.
The government can take hints from this survey and create plans for the welfare of the general public by increasing taxes on the wealthy.