Oxfam Report on Poverty in India

Tags: National News

The non-profit group Oxfam International published its latest report titled “Inequality Kills” on January 17th, 2022 ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Davos agenda.

  • Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. 
  • It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. 
  • Gabriela Butcher is the present director of Oxfam.
  • Oxfam describes itself as a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice.

Highlights from the latest report-

  • The income of 84 percent of households in the country declined in 2021, but at the same time, the number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 142.
  • Oxfam’s analysis during the coronavirus pandemic (March 2020 to November 2021) showed that the wealth of Indian billionaires rose from Rs 23.14 lakh crore to Rs 53.16 lakh crore. In contrast, more than 4.6 crore Indians were estimated to have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020 alone, which was nearly half of the global new poor according to the United Nations
  • Oxfam says that a 1% Wealth Tax on India’s Super Rich families could fund its entire vaccination program cost of Rs 50,000 crore, and a 4% wealth tax on just the 98 richest families of India could account for the Union health ministry’s budget for two years and the mid-day meal program for 17 years.
  • The budgetary allocation for social security schemes declined from 1.5% of the total Union budget to 0.6%. There was a 6% cut in allocation for education and in the health sector, even though covid continued to ravage India, the country's healthcare budget saw a 10% decline from RE (revised estimates) of 2020-21.
  • Lowering corporate taxes from 30 percent to 22 percent to attract investment last year resulted in a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh crore, which contributed to the increase in India’s fiscal deficit.
  • As a remedy to the growing wealth inequality in India, Oxfam suggested imposing a wealth tax on the super-rich population of India.

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