The richest 1% in India cornered 73% of the wealth generated in the country last year, a new survey showed on Monday, presenting a worrying picture of rising income inequality.
Besides, 67 crore Indians comprising the population’s poorest half saw their wealth rise by just 1%, as per the survey released by the international rights group Oxfam hours before the start of the annual congregation of the rich and powerful from across the world in Davos.
The situation appears even more grim globally, where 82% of the wealth generated last year worldwide went to the 1%, while 3.7 billion people that account for the poorest half of population saw no increase in their wealth.
It also said India’s top 10 per cent of population holds 73% of the wealth and 37% of India’s billionaires have inherited family wealth. They control 51 per cent of the total wealth of billionaires in the country.
Oxfam India CEO Nisha Agrawal said it is alarming that the benefits of economic growth in India continue to concentrate in fewer hands.
“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system. Those working hard, growing food for the country, building infrastructure, working in factories are struggling to fund their child’s education, buy medicines for family members and manage two meals a day. The growing divide undermines democracy and promotes corruption and cronyism,” she said.
The survey also showed that women workers often find themselves at the bottom of the heap and nine out of 10 billionaires are men.
In India, there are only four women billionaires and three of them inherited family wealth.
“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),” Oxfam said.