Inequality continues to prevail in our country, with income and asset distributions showing stark differences. Various reports have highlighted that the wealthiest people in India hold more than half of the assets, thus reflecting the vast divide.
NSS & NGO Reports
A National Sample Survey report about ownership assets revealed that nearly 10 per cent of Indians own over 55.70 per cent of the total urban assets and 50.8 per cent of assets in the rural areas.
Compared to the bottom 50 per cent of the population, they hold 6.2 per cent of assets in the urban areas and 10.2 per cent in the rural region.
Such stark differences in asset distribution reflect the inequality status in the country. Assets are defined or measured by assigning a monetary value to entities like households, lands, buildings, livestock, vehicles, and financial commodities like shares in companies, banks, and post office deposits.
Specific NGO reports on asset distribution highlight the same differences, thus affirming the inequality status. According to an Oxfam report titled "Inequality kills", the income of 84 per cent of households declined in 2021, but during the same time, the number of Indian billionaires increased from 102 to 142. Moreover, India's share of the world's extreme is higher than its share of the world population, according to a World Bank Report.
Moreover, commenting on gender parity, Oxfam CEO Amitabh Behar told The Indian Express,
"Women collectively lost Rs. 59.11 lakh crore in earnings in 2020, with 1.3 crores fewer women in work now than in 2019. It has never been so important to start righting the wrongs of this obscene inequality by targeting extreme wealth through taxation and getting that money back into the real economy to save lives."
The recent World Inequality Report affirms and highlights similar differences stating that the richest 10 per cent of Indians hold 57 per cent of the total national income. In comparison, the bottom 50 per cent have just 13 per cent. It labelled India as "a poor and very unequal country, with an affluent elite", as The Indian Express reported.
Despite various development projects and extensions of healthcare and education to all, surpassing all discriminations, inequalities continue to persist. The pandemic has only made situations worse for the people on the other end of the asset holding spectrum. It can be said that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.
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