In terms of its commitment to reduce inequality, India stands among last 15 out of 157 nations in a new worldwide index released by UK-based Oxfam International’s ‘Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index’. The report that ranks countries on their commitment towards reducing inequalities in their populations terms India’s case as “a very worrying situation” as it’s home to 1.3 billion people, majority of whom live in extreme poverty.
“Oxfam has calculated that if India were to reduce inequality by a third, more than 170 million people would no longer be poor,” the report said. India’s Asian neighbour China, which is world’s second largest economy, ranks 81 on the list. On China, the report said it “spends more than twice as much of its budget on health than India, and almost four times as much on welfare spending, showing a much greater commitment to tackle the gap between rich and poor”.
While Denmark topped the list, Nigeria, Singapore, India and Argentina are among a group of countries that are fuelling inequality, the report said. Countries such as South Korea, Namibia and Uruguay are taking robust steps to reduce inequality. Nevertheless, countries like India and Nigeria did very badly.
The report also said that rich countries such as US have also showed little commitment to close inequality gap. “What’s most striking is how clearly the index shows us that combating inequality isn’t about being the wealthiest country or the one of the biggest economy. It’s about having the political will to pass and put into practice the policies that will narrow the gap between the ultra-rich and the poor,” Matthew Martin, Development Finance International’s director, said.
Other countries in the top ten include Germany (2nd), Finland (3rd), Austria (4th), Norway (5th), Belgium (6th), Sweden (7th), France (8th), Iceland (9th) and Luxembourg (10th).