In contrast to the soaring fortunes of the global financial elite, the wealth of the world's poorest fell by $500 million each day in 2018-an overall decline of 11 percent. For instance, 13.6 crore Indians, who make up the poorest 10% of the country, have continued to remain in debt for the past 15 years.
The World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Forum, will be held from January 22-25 when the world's leaders will convene to discuss some of the most pressing issues of the day.
"If this obscene inequality between the top 1 per cent and the rest of India continues then it will lead to a complete collapse of the social and democratic structure of this country".
India now has a total of 119 billionaires, having added 18 new ones past year.
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The study showed that India's top 10% holds 77.4% of the total national wealth, while the top 1% holds 51.53% of the wealth. "The wealth of the top nine billionaires is equivalent to the wealth of the bottom 50% of the population", it said.
"The survey reveals how governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, on the one hand, while under-taxing corporations and the wealthy, and failing to clamp down on tax dodging, on the other", Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said in a statement.
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The report further found that women and girls are hardest hit by rising economic inequality.
"The super-rich and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades", the Oxfam report said, pointing out that "the human costs - children without teachers, clinics without medicines - are huge".
With Wall Street titans, tech moguls, and other members of the global financial and political elite set to gather in Davos, Switzerland this week for the annual World Economic Forum, a report published late Sunday found that the planet's richest people saw their fortunes soar by $2.5 billion per day a year ago as the world's poorest lost wealth.
Citing United Nations figures, Oxfam points out that crucial public services throughout the world-including in wealthy nations like the US and the U.K. -are suffering from crippling austerity as the global financial elite and massive corporations hoard economic gains, thanks in large part to regressive government policies that allow them to pay minimal taxes and enrich executives with massive pay packages.
It said the combined revenue and capital expenditure of the Centre and states for medical, public health, sanitation and water supply is Rs 2,08,166 crore, which is less than the country' richest man Mukesh Ambani's wealth of Rs 2.8 lakh crore.
"This is the single largest annual increase since the 2008 global financial crisis", Oxfam said.
Oxfam found that asking the richest to pay just 0.5 percent extra tax on their wealth "could raise more money than it would cost to educate all 262 million children out of school and provide healthcare that would save the lives of 3.3 million people".