Number of Indian billionaires grew to 142 in 2021
NEW DELHI: The number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 142, while 84 per cent of households in the country suffered a decline in their income in 2021, which was also a year marked by tremendous loss of life and livelihoods, according to non-profit Oxfam India’s latest report published in January 2022.
The report ‘Inequality Kills’ comes ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda. It indicates that the collective wealth of India’s 100 richest people hit a record high of Rs 57.3 lakh crore in 2021. In India, during the pandemic (since March 2020, through to November 30, 2021) the wealth of billionaires increased from Rs 23.14 lakh crore to Rs 53.16 lakh crore. More than 4.6 crore Indians, meanwhile, are estimated to have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020 (nearly half of the global new poor according to the United Nations). The stark wealth inequality in India is a result of an economic system rigged in favor of the super-rich over the poor and marginalized, the report said.
It advocates a one per cent surcharge on the richest 10 percent of the Indian population to fund inequality combating measures such as higher investments in school education, universal healthcare, and social security benefits like maternity leaves, paid leaves and pension for all Indians.