Update on wealth inequality in India: India has become one of the high income countries. But it is alarming that inequality in income and wealth is also witnessing a sharp increase. This has been stated by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in one of its reports. According to the report, the number of people living under multidimensional poverty in India has declined from 25 percent in 2015-16 to 15 percent in 2019-21.
According to the report, the richest 10 percent own more than half of the country’s wealth. While 18.50 crore people are forced to live a life of poverty whose income is less than 2.15 dollars i.e. 180 rupees. Kani Wagnarajah, UNDP Regional Director for Asia, said the report emphasizes that we need to prioritize investment in human development to overcome current challenges. And for this all countries have to prepare their own way.
The 2024 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report paints a positive picture of long-term growth but also raises concerns about growing inequality in income and wealth. And has advocated concrete steps in this direction. Between 2000 and 2022, per capita income in India has increased from $442 to $2389. Along with this, between 2004 and 2019, the poverty line has come down from 40 percent to 10 percent.
According to the report, between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the population living in multidimensional poverty has reduced from 25 percent to 15 percent. But despite this success, poverty is still very high in states where 45 percent of the country’s population lives, but a total of 62 percent of the poor live in these states. According to the UNDP report, there are many people who are just above the poverty line. People at risk of falling back below the poverty line include women, workers in the unorganized sector, inter-state migrants.
According to the report, the share of women in the total labor force is only 23%. Despite the rapid pace of growth, economic inequality has increased. The report says there is substantial evidence of income inequality since 2000. According to the report, the population of the middle class earning US$ 12 to 120 per day has grown significantly in India and India is contributing to this. According to the report, India is expected to contribute 24 percent to the growth of the global middle class, which equates to a population of 192 million. According to the report, the Asia-Pacific region is going to contribute two-thirds of the global economic growth during this year. But in South Asia, income and wealth inequality is set to increase due to the economic shocks caused by the Corona epidemic.
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