New Delhi. The richest 1% of India cornered a whopping 73% of the total wealth generated in 2017 in the country, a survey by international rights group Oxfam said. This is much higher than the rights group’s survey last year that had revealed that 1% of India’s richest had 58% of its total wealth.
Globally the situation seems to be grimmer with 1% richest holding 82% of the wealth generated across the world, the survey said.
According to the Oxfam survey, last year the richest 1% Indians’ wealth increased by Rs.20.9 lakh crore – equivalent to the total budget of the Indian government in 2017-18.
On the other end of the spectrum, the wealth of the poorest Indians numbering 67 crore rose just by 1%, the survey said, indicating the deepening economical inequality in the country.
The report said that India added 17 new rich persons to the list of billionaires in 2017. The list now has 101 billionaires. This year, the Indian billionaires’ wealth rose by Rs.4.89 lakh crore – enough to fund 85% of the health and education budgets of all states in the country.
Economic experts say that the growth in number of billionaire is not a good sign of the economy as a whole. On the other hand, it is a sign of an economy failing the common people.
Oxfam’s report titled “Reward Work, Not Wealth” reveals the worldwide trend of concentration of wealth and natural resources in fewer hands while billions of poor people struggle to make ends meet. “(The year) 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%,” said the report, a result of surveys of 120,000 people in 10 countries globally.
The annual survey about economic inequality in the world by Oxfam is hotly debated at the World Economic Forum’s meet at Davos every year.