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India's richest 1% holds over 40% of national wealth


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A recent report on Monday showed that India's richest 1 percent of the population holds 42.5 percent of national wealth while the bottom 50 percent, the majority of the population, owns a mere 2.8 percent.

According to an Oxfam report, India's top 10 percent of the population holds 74.3 percent of the total national wealth while the bottom 90 percent holds 25.7 percent of national wealth.

The report said that the number of billionaires since the global financial crisis has nearly doubled with a new billionaire created every two days. "Over the last year, the total wealth of India has increased by US$ 625.5 billion. The wealth of the top 1 percent increased by 46 percent while the bottom 50 percent saw wealth increase at just 3 per cent.," the report said.

Analysis of billionaire wealth showed that there are 15 billionaires from the consumer goods industry and more than 10 billionaires from the pharmaceutical industry in 2019.

Another figure that shows growing inequality in the country is that the wealth of top 9 billionaires is equivalent to the wealth of the bottom 50 percent of the population.

Persistent inequality has negative implications for macroeconomic stability and inclusive economic growth. Wealth concentrations can lead to decision-making power being restricted to a few while also resulting in significant adverse social impacts such as rising crime, the report noted.

"Rising inequality also compromises the pace of poverty reduction and compounds inequalities between various social groups such as men and women in terms of access to health, education, and opportunities," it said.

According to the report, it would take a female domestic worker 22,277 years to earn what a top CEO of a technology company makes in one year. With earnings pegged at Rs 106 per second, a tech CEO would make more in 10 minutes than what an average domestic worker would make in one year.

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