March 30, 2023

4.6cr slid into extreme poverty, billionaire count rose too in 2020 | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A new report on rising inequality highlights that while 4.6 crore Indians are estimated to have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020, accounting for nearly half of the global ‘new poor’ according to the United Nations, the number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 143 during the pandemic period. The collective wealth of India’s 100 richest people hit a record high of Rs 57.3 lakh crore ($775 billion) in 2021.
The analysis is part of the statement released by Oxfam India, based on the ‘Inequality Kills Report: The Davos India Supplement’, that is part of the global report to be released at the World Economic Forum‘s virtual event ‘The Davos Agenda’ on Monday.
In India, the wealth of billionaires during the pandemic (from March, 2020 to November 30, 2021) increased from Rs 23.1 lakh crore ($313 billion) to Rs 53.2 lakh crore ($719 billion). In contrast, the report cites the Consumer Pyramid Household Survey data collated by CMIE for 2021 to point that it is estimated that 84% of households in the country suffered a decline in their income in a year marked by unprecedented loss of life and livelihoods.
The data factsheets on wealth highlights that 142 Indian billionaires own more wealth ($719 billion) than 555 million people ($657 billion, bottom 40%). The richest 98 have the same wealth ($657 billion) as the poorest 555 million people (bottom 40%). “If each of the 10 richest Indians billionaires were to spend $1 million daily, it would take them 84 years to exhaust their current wealth. Indians billionaires have seen their combined fortunes more than double during the pandemic. Their number shot up by 39%,” the Oxfam statement said.
Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar also highlighted that the pandemic has set gender parity back from 99 years to 135 years now. Women collectively lost Rs 59.1 lakh crore ($800 billion) in earnings in 2020, with 1.3 crore fewer women in work now than in 2019.

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