The terrible reality of the widening gap between the rich and the poor has been presented by the famous organization ‘Oxfam’ in its report. However, now a situation like ‘Survival of the Richest’ has arisen in India. The rich are getting richer while poverty is increasing day by day. Only 21 billionaires in the country have more wealth than 70 crore Indians. Only the richest one percent own 40 percent of the wealth generated in the country.
The gap between the highest income groups and the lowest income groups in national incomes is significant. The ratio of wealth to income is also increasing due to the increase in national income. As a result, the gap between these two groups continues to widen. Apart from this, there is a huge disparity in income between urban and rural areas.
There is no doubt that the gap between the rich and the poor is rapidly widening in India after the liberalization-globalization period. Due to the situation created by the Corona crisis, this difference has further increased and the new Dhankubers have accumulated immeasurable wealth. It is obvious that this sea of economic disparity cannot move forward without government patronage and legal protection. Surveys by various organizations and reports by media organizations repeatedly paint a picture of this economic disparity.
A study by Oxfam International on Monday, ahead of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, showed that India’s richest one percent owns forty percent of the country’s wealth. At the same time, the total share of the lower class is only three percent. Oxfam’s annual Inequality Report states that if the richest 10 people in the country were taxed at 5%, all children could have enough money or facilities to go to school. A one-time tax on the profits earned by the country’s richest man could also raise Rs 1.79 lakh crore in 2017-21. This amount would be enough to provide one year’s employment to more than fifty lakh teachers in Indian primary schools. At the same time, if the wealth of India’s billionaires is taxed at the rate of 2 percent, this amount can meet the need of Rs 40,423 crore to feed the malnourished people, the report said. country for the next three years. The report titled ‘Survival of the Richest’ further states that a one-time tax of five percent on the country’s ten richest billionaires, which is about Rs 1.37 lakh crore, is expected by the country’s health ministry in 2022-23. And the Ministry of Family Welfare and AYUSH is 1.5 times more than the budget of Rs.
Admittedly, these organizations influenced by developed countries have a vested interest in issuing such reports, yet these figures paint a picture of social disparity, and the picture is quite alarming. Women workers in India earn only 63 paise for every rupee of wages earned by male workers, the report said. This difference is more for rural laborers and disadvantaged sections. The report said the minimum wage should be enough to live on. Oxfam has included qualitative and quantitative measures to assess the impact of inequality in India. The report shows that the poor pay more taxes than the rich. They are spending more on essential goods and services. It is also time to tax the rich and ensure their capital. The report suggested that the country’s finance minister implement progressive measures such as wealth tax and inheritance tax. which have been effective in reducing inequality in various countries. On the other hand, Oxfam cited a 2021 nationwide survey conducted by the Fight Inequality Alliance India, saying that 80 percent of people support imposing additional taxes on the rich and companies making huge profits by transforming the Covid crisis. At the same time, 90 percent of participants called for an increase in the budget for social security, the right to health, and to prevent gender-based violence and address inequality. It is certainly time to dispel the myth that tax breaks for the rich lead to economic growth. Undoubtedly, capital gains and the super-rich need to be taxed equally to eliminate inequality in society and strengthen democracy. Along with this, education and health budgets should be increased according to global norms. Only then will strong public services pave the way for a healthy and prosperous society.
Over the past few years, half of the country’s wealth is locked in the coffers of a few rich people in the country and the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening is constantly coming to the fore and the situation is deepening. The world has a problem. The harsh truth is that the rich have gotten richer during the pandemic, while the poor and middle class have gotten worse and economic inequality has risen to alarming levels. An Oxfam report previously said the wealthy enjoyed a comfortable life during the pandemic while health workers, shop workers, and vendors were unable to make essential payments and took years to recover from. How the world’s richest people have created enormous wealth during the biggest financial crisis, while millions of people are in dire straits. An Oxfam report last year also said that if the victims of Corona had recovered, the situation of economic inequality in the country would not be so bad. Earlier, a report by Refugee International also revealed that the corona epidemic has displaced more than 160 million people worldwide who were displaced from their homes or countries due to hunger, unemployment, and terrorism. According to the report, the social disparity is further increased due to the corona epidemic.
A study by the United Nations and the University of Denver also said that the long-term effects of the epidemic could push another 207 million people into extreme poverty by 2030, and if that happens, the number of extremely poor people. Globally to cross one billion According to World Food Programme’s estimates, more than 820 million people go to bed hungry every night worldwide and another 130 million could rise, says the Center for Science and Environment’s (CSE) State of India’s Environment in Figures 2020 report. Corona will increase the global poverty rate for the first time in 22 years and add 12 million more people to India’s poor population, the report warned, adding that the number is globally significant.
Vikas Parasram Meshram is a journalist