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  • 13 January, 2023

  • 6 Min Read

Survival of the Richest Report: The Indian Story

Survival of the Richest Report: The India Story

  • The Oxfam India report "Survival of the Richest: The India Supplement" reveals the growing disparity between the rich and the poor.
  • The report also discusses how progressive taxation can help India combat inequality.
  • According to Oxfam India's latest report "Survival of the Richest: The India Story," only five percent (5%) of Indians own more than 60 percent (60%) of the country's wealth, while the bottom 50 percent (50%) own only three percent (3%).
  • India's richest man has seen his wealth soar by 46 percent in 2022.

Findings of the report:

  • The richest 1% of Indians today control more than 40% of the nation's total wealth, while the bottom half of the population will collectively hold just 3% of it between 2012 and 2021.
  • On the first day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Oxfam International published the India supplement to its annual inequality report.
  • According to the analysis, taxing India's ten wealthiest people at 5% might raise enough money to send kids back to school.
  • According to the study, a one-time 20% tax on the unrealized gains of this millionaire from 2017 to 2021 may perhaps earn INR 1.8 lakh crores.
  • This would provide more than five million primary school teachers in the nation with a full year of employment.
  • In the next Union Budget, Oxfam India demands that the Union Finance Minister put an end to this outrageous inequality and enact progressive tax policies like a wealth tax.
  • India's billionaires are doing incredibly well for themselves even though the nation is experiencing numerous crises like hunger, unemployment, inflation, and health tragedies.
  • India's impoverished, in contrast, are unable to buy even the most basic essentials for survival.
  • From 190 million in 2018, there were 350 million hungry Indians in 2022.
  • The survey also emphasised the gender pay gap in India, stating that women only made 63 paise for every rupee earned by the men.
  • Scheduled Castes and rural labourers are in a worse situation, as they earned respectively 55% and 50% of what the privileged socioeconomic groups did between 2018 and 2019.
  • According to Oxfam India, in a system that puts the survival of the wealthiest people first, marginalised groups including Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, women, and workers in the informal sector continue to suffer.
  • When compared to the wealthy, India's impoverished pay disproportionately more taxes and spend more money on necessities.

Suggestion to tackle the inequality by Oxfam:

  • To stop crisis profiteering, enact one-time windfall and solidarity wealth taxes.
  • Taxes on the wealthiest 1% should be raised consistently. In particular, the finance minister has to increase taxes on capital gains, which are taxed at lower rates than other types of income. Implement net wealth taxes as well as inheritance, property, and land taxes.
  • As outlined in the National Health Policy, increase the budgetary allocation for the health sector to 2.5% of GDP by 2025 in order to revitalise the public healthcare system, cut OOP spending, and promote health preventive and promotion.
  • As promised in the National Education Policy, increase the budgetary allocation for education to the international standard of 6% of GDP. To reach the 6% level, the government must create a financial roadmap broken down by year.
  • Spending more on initiatives (such Pre- and Post-Matric Scholarships) aimed at enhancing the educational level of kids from underprivileged groups (SC/ST/Girls) can help to reduce the existing educational imbalance.
  • Ensure that employees in both the formal and informal sectors receive the bare minimum pay. In order to live a life with dignity, the minimum wage needs to be equal to living earnings.

About Oxfam International:

  • Oxfam International is a grouping of 21 autonomous nonprofit organisations that collaborate with local communities and partners in more than 90 different countries.
  • To eradicate the inequities that lead to poverty is its goal.
  • Oxfam seeks out doable, creative solutions to help people escape poverty and prosper.
  • When a disaster occurs, they help save lives and restore livelihoods.
  • They advocate for the poor's voices to be heard in local and international decisions that have an impact on them.

What is a windfall tax?

  • Windfall taxes are levied on unanticipated or exceptional earnings, such as those generated during periods of economic hardship, conflict, or natural catastrophes.
  • Governments often impose a windfall tax, sometimes known as a one-time tax, retroactively in addition to the regular rates of tax on such earnings.
  • Oil markets, where price volatility results in unpredictable or volatile profits for the business, are one area where such levies have frequently been suggested.

Source: The Indian Express

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