Indians becoming billionaires at fastest pace in the world, but there is a catch

By: |
Published: August 13, 2019 1:25:08 PM

While India is among the fastest-growing economies of the world, it is one of the world leaders in income disparity as well.

India gdp slips to 7th largest economy in worldThe spike in wealth accumulation isn’t good news for everyone.

From just nine billionaires at the turn of the century to 119 today, Indian populace is getting richer at the fastest rate than those of most major economies. However, the riches are concentrated in the hands of a select few, which is a very tiny minority considering the Indian population is over 120-crore strong. In a decade to 2018, the privately held wealth grew two-fold in India, according to a recent report by AfrAsia. However, the spike in wealth accumulation isn’t good news for everyone because it is not evenly spread and according to a report by Oxfam, while India is among the fastest-growing economies of the world, it is one of the world leaders in income disparity as well. The same has worsened in the last three decades, the report said, adding that about 77% of the total national wealth is in the coffers of the top 10% of the Indian population.

Unequal wealth distribution

An overwhelming 73% of the wealth that was generated in 2017 went to the richest 1%, according to the Oxfam report, but the poorest 67 million Indians which account for half of the country’s population recorded only a negligible 1% increase in their wealth.

The Indian healthcare system is also pushing about 63 million people every year to poverty as the medical treatment costs are very high. That’s about 2 people very second, the Oxfam report said. “Individuals with wealth created through crony capitalism and inheritance are getting richer at a much faster pace while the poor are still struggling to earn a minimum wage and access quality education and healthcare services,” the Oxfam report said. 

The combined private wealth of Indian billionaires is expected to get more than double of those held by individuals in Australia, Germany and the UK. Also, India is likely to overtake neighbouring China to become the fastest wealth accumulating country in the world, the World Economic Forum said. 

Do you know What is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget, Customs Duty? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Next Stories
1No proven health, environment impact, government not to ban herbicide Glyphosate
2Natural rubber prices slide as imports get cheaper
3Exporters seek alternative scheme after MEIS removal