Business & Finance

The combined total wealth of 63 Indian Billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for fiscal year 2018-19: Oxfam Report

The Oxfam report reveals that it would take a female domestic worker 22,277 years to earn what a top CEO of a technology company makes in one year.

New Delhi| ‘Sexist’ economies are fueling the inequality crisis by enabling a wealthy elite to accumulate vast fortunes at the expense of ordinary people and particularly women and girls.

The report published by Oxfam highlighted gender-based economic disparities, stating women and girls were burdened with disproportionate responsibilities of care work and not enough economic opportunities. With 2153 billionaires having more wealth than 4.6 billion people in 2019, “Economic inequality is out of control”, it said.

Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar called on governments to adopt and commit to “inequality-busting policies”. The annual Global risks Report by WEF has also warned that the downward pressure on the global economy from macroeconomic fragility and financial inequality continued to intensify in 2019.

Globally, the world’s richest 1% have more than twice the wealth of the rest of humanity combined and in India, richest one per cent hold more than four-times the wealth held by 956 million people who make up for the bottom 70 % of the country’s population.

The report reveals that it would take a female domestic worker 22,277 years to earn what a top CEO of a technology company makes in one year. Earning Rs 106 per second, a tech CEO would make more in 10 minutes than what a domestic worker would make in one year.

Women and girls contribute Rs 19 lakh crore a year to India’s economy by putting in 3.26 billion hours of unpaid care work per day, which is 20 times the entire budget of India in 2019. Behar said women and girls are among those who benefit the least from today’s economic system.

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“They spend billions of hours of 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,” He said.

According to Oxfam, governments are massively under-taxing the wealthiest individuals and corporations and failing to collect revenues that could help lift the responsibility of care from women and tackle poverty and inequality.

The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa: Global Survey. If the richest one per cent starts paying just 0.5 per cent extra on their wealth over the next 10 years, the investment would equal to the funds needed to create 117 million jobs in sectors such as elderly and childcare, education and health.

Prioritizing care as important as other sectors is the need of the hour in order to build more human economies that work for everyone, not just for a fortunate few, Behar said.

The calculations of Oxfam 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.


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