India’s income and wealth disparity is discussed in a recent UNDP report, which shows both progress and ongoing income inequality. India continues to rank among the top nations with substantial income and wealth inequality, even as the percentage of the people living in multidimensional poverty has decreased.

Rise in Income Inequality 

In recent times, India’s income inequality has surpassed that of the US, Brazil, and South Africa. Globalisation, technical advancements, and a widening wealth and poverty gap are some of the factors causing this spike.

Rise of Billionaires

 A major factor in the current wealth inequality in India is the country’s recent golden era of billionaires. There are already 271 billionaires in the nation, with 94 more slated to join in 2020 alone. The disparity in income between the rich and the poor is made worse by this accumulation of wealth.

Persistent Poverty

 In spite of economic expansion, poverty is still concentrated in several areas, and vulnerable populations including women, undocumented labourers, and interstate migrants are more likely to relapse into poverty. Given that women only make up 23% of the labour force, gender differences in employment are evident.

Political and Economic Reforms

 According to the research, political and economic reforms have resulted in a closer relationship between big business and the government, which has contributed to the rise in income inequality since 2014. Decision-making authority centralization has made it easier for certain groups to have disproportionate influence over society and the political system.

Income inequality and

Policy Recommendations

The report recommends raising public investment on education, healthcare, and nutrition in order to address inequality. To raise money for these kinds of projects, a “super tax” on the highest-earning Indian families’ net worth might be put into place. Additionally, establishing a more equitable distribution of income depends on measures to empower women in the workforce.

 

Impact on the World

 India is expected to contribute 24% of the world’s middle class by 2024, making a major contribution to the growth of the middle class worldwide. Nonetheless, with the richest 10% of people in the Asia-Pacific area possessing more than half of all income, income and wealth disparities are getting worse, especially in South Asia.

In conclusion, broad policy interventions are necessary to promote equal distribution of financial assets and inclusive growth in India, given the complex challenges posed by the country’s income inequality. Building a more equitable society requires addressing the underlying causes of inequality, strengthening marginalized groups, and enacting progressive taxation measures.

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