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Saturday, March 23, 2024

India's Income and Wealth Inequality The Billionaire Raj's Rise

According to the research, the income and wealth shares of the top 1% reached their greatest points in history in 2022–2023, standing at 22.6% and 40.1%, respectively. When compared to the disparity that existed even throughout the colonial era, this is worse. A more detailed analysis suggests that India's inequality appears to have peaked in the past 15 years.

There are further, equally important findings. According to the report, when looking at income distribution, India's income tax system is regressive, meaning that the wealthiest pay less in taxes than the poor do relative to their wealth. The report also claims that its own estimates of inequality represent the lower bound and that the quality of India's official economic data has decreased.

India has one of the highest rates of income and wealth inequality in the world, according to a recent paper titled Income and Wealth Inequality in India 1922-2023, The Rise of the Billionaire Raj, which was submitted by the Paris-based World Inequality Lab. India outperforms nations like South Africa, Brazil, and the United States of America merely in terms of economic disparity.

India's Income and Wealth Inequality The Billionaire Raj's Rise

It is indisputable that India is a very unequal country. However, what is concerning are the recurrent conclusions drawn by specialists and scholars from a vast amount of historical data, which corroborate the growing disparity in the nation.

This suggests that despite the problem's numerous and damaging effects, there hasn't been a concentrated attempt to address it. For example, social cohesion erodes as a result of inequality.

It makes disparities in employment, education, and health worse. Ultimately, the outcome of embedded inequality is the elites' disproportionate power over governments, which indirectly influences how policies are formulated.

It's also important to recognize that inequality is a dynamic phenomenon. Technology advancements or shifting trade patterns brought on by globalization cause it to keep evolving.

In India, for example, the labor market is highly polarized; there are plenty of high-paying, high-tech positions in addition to low-paying positions involving security guards or the delivery of commodities.

It's interesting to note that the rising issues of job insecurity, underemployment, and unemployment which have dogged Narendra Modi's government often result in a popular yearning for the election of a strong leader.

Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, opportunities are still limited in the absence of strategic long-term policies to bridge the widening gap. Furthermore, it seems that policies are created to keep things as they are. And there's the populism that will always have an appeal.

Political parties, whether in power or in opposition, thereby support the distribution of temporary handouts rather than organizing long-term, sustainable programs to reduce poverty. Furthermore, it is still politically taboo to propose raising taxes on the wealthy and enacting robust redistributive measures. When combined, these legislative restrictions have led to the consolidation of inequality in India rather than its eradication.

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