Recently Oxfam India has released a report “survival of the richest: the India story”. that shows a huge gap between the rich and the poor section in the context of wealth own and social life.
According to this report on the one hand the rich are getting Richer and on the other the poor are getting poorer; the gap is simultaneously widening between them.
Oxford international is an institute that works toward reducing inequality and poverty elimination around the world. Oxfam India is a branch of this and work in Indian context.
Oxfam report: survival of the richest: the Indian story
Just 5% of richest Indians have more than 60% of the country’s wealth while the bottom 50% of the Indians population have only 3% of wealth.
The top 21 richest Indians have more wealth than the total wealth of 70 crore people. The number of billionaires has increased from 102 (year 2022) to 166 (year 2022)
During 2012-2022, 40% of total creation has gone to 1% people only and 3% of the wealth creation has gone to bottom 50% population.
The combined wealth of 100 richest Indians has crossed 660 billion dollars, that amount can fund the entire union budget of India for 18 months and more.
Since 2021, the wealth of the top 10 richest people has increased by 32%. If we talk about Gautam Adani, then his wealth has increased by eight times (800%).
Role of government policies
In this report some policies of the Government have been blamed for income inequality.
In the union budget of 2021 government announced to decrease corporate tax from 30% to 22% and for newly companies set 15% of corporate tax, due to which government lost 16% (1.8 lakh crore) In tex revenue.
Government increased in GST tax and excise duty on petrol and diesel. These are the indirect taxes, which affected the common Indians.
Due to this 50% of poor people had to pay more than 6 times taxes than 10% rich people.
According to the report of the 2022 GST collection, 50% of the poor population had paid 2/3 of GST and 10% richest population had paid only 4% of GST.
If we look at the inflation figures of September 2022, there was 7.27% in urban areas and 7.56% in rural areas. Usually, income is more in urban areas and less in areas so this type of inflation increasement affected a large population.
Due to the increase in repo rate, people had to pay increased EMI. On the other hand, the government announced NPA of 11 lakhs of big loans in 6 years.
During 2021-22 there was an increase of 70% in the income of rich people while there was a decrease of 84% in the income of common people.
Impact of inequality
On one hand crores of people are suffering from hunger, unemployment, inflation, and health calamities while on the other hand the wealth of billionaires is increasing significantly. You will be surprised to know that millions of people die every year due to hunger in India.
The number of people who were facing starvation was 190 million in 2018, which has increased to 350 million by 2022.
Recording to data, in 2022, 65 percent of the death of children under 5 years were due to hunger and malnutrition only.
We can say development and wealth are being created in India, but it is completely unbalanced or limited for some people.
Social structure is getting affected, due to income inequality violence and crime are increasing, productivity of people is decreasing, which is a hindrance in economic development and democracy is also getting affected.
Suggestions of this report
Property tax on the wealthy
If 100 billionaires are taxes of 2.5% or 10 billionaires are text at 5%, then Government of India can get 1.4 lakh crore which can helps in better schooling of all children.
Windfall tax and inheritance tax should be imposed.
To reduce the tax burden on poor people
Government should reduce GST and excise duty from basic communities.
High GST should be imposed on luxury items.
The report says, by 2025, 2.5% of GDP should be spent on health sector and 6% GDP on education sector.