Indian billionaires increased their wealth by 35% during the 2020 lockdown and by 90% since 2009, following the global trend of billionaires accumulating wealth while the poor become poorer according to an Oxfam India income inequality report. As income inequalities increase, what can be done about this? Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar explains in this interview with BOOM's Govindraj Ethiraj.
Amitabh Behar says that in India, the top 11 Indian billionaires since March 2020, could sustain the governments labour security NREGA scheme for 10 years. A recent World Bank study says that poor people in the world will take a decade to get back to pre-pandemic income levels. Inequality also has gender, caste and race dimensions. The obscene inequality we are seeing around us is only growing.
He also says we need a fundamental shift in our fiscal and monetary policies as well as development framework like access to healthcare and education. If we tax the rich, we will not be the only country to do it. Essentially, billionaires gain immensely from a system that is rigged in their favour and the state must intervene to ensure redistribution of those resources.