This refers to the report, “India’s richest 1% cornered 73% of wealth generated last year : Oxfam survey” (National, Jan 23, 2018). The Oxfam report titled, “Reward work, not wealth” tells the tale of India’s glaring unequal growth in the past 12 months. The richest 1 per cent in India have cornered as much as 73 per cent of nation’s wealth last year. On the other hand, 50 per cent of Indians have managed to get only 1 per cent increase in their wealth during the same period of time.
It clearly shows that our resources are being limited to fewer hands fast and furious. Such lopsided growth is as fatal as malignant cancer. The market is going to shrink as a result of such concentration of wealth. Instead of having an economic ecosystem that forces the rich to trickle down their resources for their own benefit, for boosting the market, we have a syndrome of pumping up the wealth to a handful of people.
Some of the market players cover drive a few deliveries out of India’s boundary to some foreign countries with a straight bat. Some others even go for hook and take Panama or Paradise shots with a cross bat to clear the ropes and send the ball totally out of the stadium! We also have a few batsmen who can keep the inequality score board moving by taking singles in the form of NPAs. But it is not cricket!
Such a cancerous growth in our economy has created a huge wealth gap. It was reported that Rs. 500 crore was spent on just one single mega marriage in India during the period of demonetisation in November 2016 whereas 48.2 million children (the highest in the world) in our country have stunted growth as a result of malnutrition and hunger.
We need a paradigm shift in our policy to get a healthy economy that generates employment, ensures distributive justice and eliminates exploitation. It must create income opportunities for as many employable people as possible by adopting labour intensive technology and doing land reforms all over the country.
It will enhance the purchasing power of the masses and thus boost the market and generate employment and create a healthy cycle of inclusive growth.
Sujit De, Kolkata