'Time to Care' Study
India's richest 1 percent hold more than four-times the wealth held by 953 million people who make up for the bottom 70 per cent of the country's population, while the total wealth of all Indian billionaires is more than the full-year budget, a new study said on 20 January 2020. Releasing the study 'Time to Care' ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), rights group Oxfam also said the world's 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 per cent of the planet's population.
- The report flagged that global inequality is shockingly entrenched and vast and the number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade, despite their combined wealth having declined in the last year.
- The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies, and too few governments are committed to these, said Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar.
- The issues of income and gender inequality are expected to figure prominently in discussions at the five-day summit of the WEF, starting on 20 January 2020.
- The WEF's annual Global Risks Report has also warned that the downward pressure on the global economy from macroeconomic fragilities and financial inequality continued to intensify in 2019.
- Concern about inequality underlies recent social unrest in almost every continent, although it may be sparked by different tipping points such as corruption, constitutional breaches, or the rise in prices for basic goods and services, as per the WEF report.
- Although global inequality has declined over the past three decades, domestic income inequality has risen in many countries, particularly in advanced economies and reached historic highs in some, the Global Risks Report flagged last week.
- The Oxfam report further said "sexist" economies are fuelling the inequality crisis by enabling a wealthy elite to accumulate vast fortunes at the expense of ordinary people and particularly poor women and girls.
- Regarding India, Oxfam said the combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19 which was at Rs 24,42,200 crore.
- As per 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 a domestic worker would make in one year.
- It further said women and girls put in 3.26 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day -- a contribution to the Indian economy of at least Rs 19 lakh crore a year, which is 20 times the entire education budget of India in 2019 (Rs 93,000 crore).
- Besides, direct public investments in the care economy of 2 percent of GDP would potentially create 11 million new jobs and make up for the 11 million jobs lost in 2018, the report said.
- As per the global survey, the 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa.
- Besides, women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day -- a contribution to the global economy of at least USD 10.8 trillion a year, more than three times the size of the global tech industry.
- Getting the richest one per cent to pay just 0.5 per cent extra tax on their wealth over the next 10 years would equal the investment needed to create 117 million jobs in sectors such as elderly and childcare, education and health.