In 2018, Indian billionaires saw their fortunes swell by Rs 2,200 crore a day wherein the top 1 percent of the richest in the country got richer by 39 percent while the bottom half of the population only a 3 percent increase in their wealth. An Oxfam study on Monday showed that fortunes of billionaires around the world rose by 12 percent or $2.5 billion a day in 2018, as against an 11 percent decrease in wealth of the poorest half of the world's population.
Oxfam is an international rights group based in Oxford, UK that conducted and released its annual study before the start of the five-day World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in this Swiss ski resort town. The study showed that 13.6 crore Indians, the ones who make up the poorest 10 percent of the country, continued to remain in debt since 2004.
Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, one of the key participants at the WEF summit, said it is "morally outrageous" that a few wealthy individuals are amassing a growing share of India's wealth, while the poor are struggling to eat their next meal or pay for their child's medicines.
"If this obscene inequality between the top 1 percent and the rest of India continues then it will lead to a complete collapse of the social and democratic structure of this country," she added.
Pointing towards the increase in wealth concentration, Oxfam that said 26 people now own the same as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, down from 44 people last year.
Includes inputs from PTI