40 New Indian Billionaires Created During Covid; 100% Rise In Poor Citizens In The Same Period
India’s richest have gotten richer, doubling their wealth in the Covid-19 pandemic, which not only stripped small businesses but also left many unemployed. According to a report published by Oxfam Davos in 2022, the Indian government should revisit its policies on even wealth distributions, to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.
40 Billionaires Were Made in 2021
Amid the worst thrash of the Covid-19 pandemic seen in 2021, with the deadly Delta variant slashing the already recovering economy, the urban unemployment rose as much as 15% in May 2021, while the food insecurity worsened.
Amid this period in India, about 40 new billionaires were added to the list of billionaires in India, taking the count to 142 in 2021.
These 142 billionaires in the country now have a combined wealth of about $720 billion exceeding the poorest 40% of the population, added the report, warning of the growing disparity in wealth levels among different social groups in India.
Also, wealth of these billionaires rallied during the pandemic period, backed by multiple grounds, including stock prices, commodities and even cryptocurrencies.
‘The world’s 500 richest people added more than $1 trillion to their net worths last year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. India, where urban unemployment climbed as high as 15% last May and food insecurity worsened, now counts more billionaires than France, Sweden and Switzerland combined’, stated Oxfam’s report, as cited by NDTV.
Other Reasons for Billionaires Increasing During Pandemic in India
There are several other factors which contributed to accumulation of wealth in the country’s richest.
Several state policies like the abolition of a wealth tax in 2016, steep cuts in corporate levies, along with a rise in indirect taxes played important roles in helping the rich in the county get wealthier.
“Unfortunately, not only has the taxation policy of the Indian government been pro-rich, it has also deprived India’s States of important fiscal resources — both particularly damaging in the context of the Covid-19 crisis,” added the report.
Gautam Adani’s wealth has shown the highest surge in 2021, and the fifth highest globally, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
He has added $42.7 billion to his fortune, and now stands at almost $90 billion. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s net worth has climbed by $13.3 billion in 2021, and is now valued at $97 billion.