From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : 'Time to Care' Report
Mains level : Income inequality in India
The report ‘Time to Care’ was recently released ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
‘Time to Care’ Report
- It is published by Oxfam International.
- Its calculations are based on the latest data sources available, including from the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Databook 2019 and Forbes’ 2019 Billionaires List.
Findings of the report
- Although global inequality has declined over the past three decades, domestic income inequality has risen in many countries, particularly in advanced economies and reached historic highs.
- The report said that the world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 per cent of the planet’s population.
- The report flagged that global inequality is shockingly entrenched and vast and the number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade, despite their combined wealth having declined in the last year.
- The Oxfam report further said “sexist” economies are fuelling the inequality crisis by enabling a wealthy elite to accumulate vast fortunes at the expense of ordinary people and particularly poor women and girls.
Income inequality in India
- India’s richest 1 per cent hold more than four-times the wealth held by 953 million people who make up for the bottom 70 per cent of the country’s population.
- The total wealth of all Indian billionaires is more than its full-year budget.
- Regarding India, Oxfam said the combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19 which was at Rs 24,42,200 crore.
- It further said women and girls put in 3.26 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day — a contribution to the Indian economy of at least Rs 19 lakh crore a year, which is 20 times the entire education budget of India in 2019 (Rs 93,000 crore).
- He said women and girls are among those who benefit the least from today’s economic system.
- They spend billions of hours cooking, cleaning and caring for children and the elderly. Unpaid care work is the ‘hidden engine’ that keeps the wheels of our economies, businesses and societies moving.
Data on earnings
- Oxfam said governments are massively under-taxing the wealthiest individuals and corporations and failing to collect revenues that could help lift the responsibility of care and tackle poverty and inequality.
- As per the report, it would take a female domestic worker 22,277 years to earn what a top CEO of a technology company makes in one year.
- With earnings pegged at Rs 106 per second, a tech CEO would make more in 10 minutes than what a domestic worker would make in one year.
- Besides, direct public investments in the care economy of 2 per cent of GDP would potentially create 11 million new jobs and make up for the 11 million jobs lost in 2018, the report said.