Home/ News / India/  Richest 1% Indians own more than 40% of country's wealth: Report

A  new study on Monday showed that the richest 1% in India now own more than 40% of the country's total wealth, while the bottle half of the population together share just 3% of wealth, according to the news agency PTI. 

The rights group Oxfam International has released the India supplement of its annual inequality report on the first day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting here. 

It said that taxing India's ten richest at 5% can fetch entire money to bring children back to school. The report is titled ‘Survival of the Richest’. 

"A one-off tax on unrealized gains from 2017–2021 on just one billionaire, Gautam Adani, could have raised 1.79 lakh crore, enough to employ more than five million Indian primary school teachers for a year," the report read. 

According to the Oxfam report, if India's billionaires are taxed once at 2% on their entire wealth, it would support the requirement of 40,423 crore for the nutrition of malnourished in the country for the next three years.

"A one-time tax of 5 per cent on the 10 richest billionaires in the country ( 1.37 lakh crore) is more than 1.5 times the funds estimated by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry ( 86,200 crore) and the Ministry of Ayush ( 3,050 crore) for the year 2022-23," it added as quoted by PTI. 

Mentioning gender inequality, the report stated that female workers earned only 63 paise for every 1 rupee a male worker earned. 

For Scheduled Castes and rural workers, the difference is even starker -- the former earned 55 per cent of what the advantaged social groups earned, and the latter earned only half of the urban earnings between 2018 and 2019, the report revealed. 

"Taxing the top 100 Indian billionaires at 2.5 per cent, or taxing the top 10 Indian billionaires at 5 per cent would nearly cover the entire amount required to bring the children back into school," it said. 

Oxfam said the report is a mix of qualitative and quantitative information to explore the impact of inequality in India.

Secondary sources like Forbes and Credit Suisse have been used to look at the wealth inequality and billionaire wealth in the country, while government sources like NSS, Union budget documents, parliamentary questions, etc have been used to corroborate arguments made through out the report.

Since the pandemic begun to Nov 2022, billionaires in India have seen their wealth surge by 121% or 3,608 crore per day in real terms, Oxfam said, PTI reported. 

On the other hand, approximately 64% of the total 14.83 lakh crore in Goods and Services Tax (GST) came from bottom 50% of the population in 2021-22, with only 3% of GST coming from the top 10 per cent.

Oxfam said the total number of billionaires in India increased from 102 in 2020 to 166 in 2022. The combined wealth of India's 100 richest has touched USD 660 billion ( 54.12 lakh crore) -– an amount that could fund the entire Union Budget for more than 18 months, it added.

It also urged the Union finance minister to introduce one-off solidarity wealth taxes and windfall taxes to end crisis profiteering, and demanded a permanent increase in taxes on the richest 1% and especially raise taxes on capital gains, which are subject to lower tax rates than other forms of income.


(With PTI inputs)

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Updated: 16 Jan 2023, 06:46 AM IST
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My Reads Watchlist Feedback Redeem a Gift Card Logout