The new 2000 Indian rupee banknotes. Photo: Reuters/ Mukesh Gupta
The rupee has gyrated between weakening and strengthening against the US dollar this year. Photo: Reuters/ Mukesh Gupta

Income disparity in India has become even more stark, showing that efforts to alleviate poverty and achieve more inclusive growth have had little success.

A survey carried out recently by international rights group Oxfam revealed that the richest 1% in India cornered 73% of wealth generated in the country last year, Press Trust of India has reported.

A similar survey last year showed that India’s richest 1% held 58% of the country’s total wealth — higher than the global figure of about 50%.

The Oxfam survey, ahead of the World Economic Forum summit at Davos, revealed that the 670 million poorest Indians saw their wealth rise by just 1%.

Whereas the richest 1% saw their wealth rise by over Rs 20.9 trillion (US$32.7 billion) during 2017 — equivalent to the national government’s total budget for 2017-18.

Last year the number of Indian billionaires jumped by 17 to 101. About a third – 37% – of the country’s billionaires inherited their wealth and nine out of 10 are men. In fact, there are only four women billionaires and three of them have inherited wealth.

The situation worldwide was equally grim, with 82% of wealth generated last year going to the richest 1%, while 3.7 billion people – the poorest half of citizens around the globe – saw no increase in their wealth.