Comprehensive solutions are needed to tackle income inequality – The New Indian Express

In a country like India where privilege manifests itself in various forms – gender, caste and religion – growing wealth and income disparity only exacerbates the situation. Financial prosperity, said to blur other forms of social discrimination, only widens the divide as the rich get richer and the poor move off the curve.

According to the latest World Inequality Report, income and wealth inequalities in India are worse than they were under British rule, when the richest 10% of the population took 50% of total income. Today, the situation is worse, with the richest 10% accumulating 57%, while the share of the poorest 50% in national income has fallen to 13%. To put it in perspective, globally the richest 10% take 52% of global income, while the poorest half earn 8%. The World Inequality Report puts it succinctly: “India stands out as a poor and very unequal country, with an affluent elite.

India’s per capita income based on purchasing power parity has jumped five times, from $ 1,200 in 1990 to $ 6,500 in 2020. However, this phenomenal growth in average income masks inequality. growing inside. The Inequalities Report points to this irony: “This sharp increase in inequalities within countries has meant that despite economic catching up and strong growth in emerging countries, the world today remains particularly unequal.

Covid only made matters worse, with many people working in the informal sector losing their livelihoods. And if the formal sector has seized the markets left vacant by the informal sectors, it has not absorbed a large workforce employed by the latter. A report by SBI Research recently pointed out that the share of the informal economy may have declined from 52% in FY18 to 20%. India’s labor force participation has also fallen below 50% over the past two years and hovers around 47.5%. If viewed through filters of gender, caste, religion and prevailing disparities, income and wealth inequality can only point to a more disturbing picture. It’s probably time we took a look at these inequality numbers in more detail to approach the problem in a more holistic way.

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