Corona Virus Lockdown Made India’s Billionaires 35% More Wealthy; 1.7 Million Jobs Lost Every Hour In April

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Friyana Munshi

India, January 25, 2021: Coronavirus has further increased income inequality between India’s billionaires and the poor. During the lockdown between March 2020 and December 2020, while crores of people have become poor, the wealth of the world’s top richest people have increased by about 3.9 trillion US Dollars (about Rs 285 lakh crore).

1.7 lakh people lost their jobs every hour in April

The Corona crisis has further widened the income disparity between the millions of unemployed, poor men, unskilled employees, women, and the billionaires. According to non-profit group Oxfam’s report ‘The Inequality Virus’, the wealth of India’s billionaires increased by 35 percent during the coronavirus lockdown, while 84 percent of the country’s families had to go through a financial crisis. In the month of April 2020 alone 1.7 lakh people have lost their jobs every hour.

Rapid growth in lockdown

Referring to the inequality of income in the report, it was stated that it would take an unskilled laborer ten thousand years to earn the income that Mukesh Ambani earned in one hour, or the amount of income that Mukesh Ambani earned in a second, would take an unskilled laborer three years to receive. According to the report, the wealth of billionaires like Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Shiv Nadar, Cyrus Poonawala, Uday Kotak, Azim Premji, Sunil Mittal, Radhakrishna Damani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, and Lakshmi Mittal grew rapidly during the epidemic and lockdown after March 2020.

A check of Rs 94,045 can be given to poor people

 

The report stated that out of the wealth that 100 billionaires of India have created since March 2020, a check of Rs 94,045 can be given to every 138 million or 13.8 crore poor people in the country. The report said that the ‘growing inequality’ in India is bitter. With the sudden lockdown in March and subsequent months, millions of migrant laborers lost their employment, savings, food, and shelter. They were forced to return to their native states. The workers were seen walking for hundreds of kilometers and many people lost their lives in the process.

What are the statistics related to India?

The wealth of Indian billionaires rose by 35 percent during the lockdown. India ranks sixth after the US, China, Germany, Russia, and France in terms of the wealth of billionaires. The increase in the income of 11 major billionaires of India during the epidemic, can provide for the current budget of the MNREGA and the Ministry of Health for a decade. Oxfam said the epidemic and lockdown had the worst effect on informal workers. Around 12.2 crore people lost jobs during this period, of which 9.2 crore (75 percent) were from the informal sector.

The biggest impact was on women

The report said that due to this crisis, women suffered the most, and the employment of 1.7 crore women was lost in April 2020. The unemployment rate in women was already 15 percent before the lockdown, further increasing to 18 percent. Apart from this, the number of children staying out of school was also doubled.

The Worst Health Crisis of 100 Years

 

According to the report, the corona virus epidemic has been the biggest health crisis of the last hundred years. This led to the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression of 1930. Oxfam Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Behar said that this report clearly shows how the wealthiest people earned huge wealth during the biggest economic crisis, while crores of people are going through very difficult times. Initially, it was thought that the pandemic would affect everyone equally, but when the lockdown occurred, the disparities in the society came to the fore.

In a survey conducted by Oxfam for the report, 295 economists from 79 countries gave their opinion, with 87 percent of respondents, including Jeffrey David, Jayati Ghosh, and Gabriel Zukman predicting a large or very large increase in income inequality in their respective countries due to the epidemic.