Davos Summit 2020: Rising global inequalities cast shadow; India sinks low in growth under Modi’s rule

The Wealth of World’s 2,153 billionaires is more than the wealth of 4.6 billion people, which is 60 per cent of planet’s population, stated Oxfam Rights Group’s study

Representative Image (PTI)
Representative Image (PTI)

N Sundaramurthy/IPA

Oxfam Rights Group has come out with a study, ‘Time to Care’, on the occasion of the 50th annual meeting of World Economic Forum (WEF), a five-day summit from January 20, 2020, at Davos, Switzerland. The data were sourced from Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Data Book, 2019 and Forbes 2019 Billionaires List.

The Wealth of World’s 2,153 billionaires is more than the wealth of 4.6 billion people, which is 60 per cent of planet’s population. In the last 10 years, the number of billionaires has doubled. In the world 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

Wealthiest and the corporates are massively under-taxed. The wealth of Bill Gates grew to 100 billion dollars because of under taxation. Super rich generally avoid 30 per cent of their tax liability. Also vital public services and infrastructure are underfunded.

If the tax on the wealthiest is increased by just 0.5 per cent over the next 10 years, the amount created will meet the investment needed to create 117 million jobs in sectors like children and elderly care, education and health. The fact is half the world is surviving on 5.50 a dollar a day or less. Women and girls are the most affected by today’s economic systems.

Women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day – a contribution to the global economy of at least 10.8 trillion US dollars (Rs 756 lakh crore) a year, more than three times the size of global tech industry. The women “spend billions of hours cooking, cleaning and caring for children and the elderly. Unpaid care work is the ‘hidden engine’ that keeps the wheels of our economies, business and societies moving.”

India’s richest one per cent has wealth equal to four times the wealth of bottom 70 per cent of population. This is the wealth of 953 million people multiplied by four. There are 63 Indian billionaires. They have wealth which is more than the full year budget of the government.

The amount involved in India’s 2018-19 budget was Rs 24,42,200crore.

The wealth of Mukesh Ambani has increased to Rs 4,32,000crore. A female domestic worker will take 22,277 years to earn what a top CEO of a tech company earns in one year.

A CEO of a tech company earns Rs 106 per second, Rs 6,360 per minute and Rs 63,600 in 10 minutes. A domestic worker in India will take one whole year to earn what a CEO earns in just 10 minutes.

Indian women and girls put in 3.26 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day – a contribution to the Indian economy of at least Rs.19 lakh crore a year, which is 20 times the entire education budget of India in 2019, which is Rs 93,000 crore. Direct public investments in care economy of two per cent of GDP would potentially create 11 million new jobs and make up for the 11 million jobs lost in 2018.

Women in India have little time to get education and to earn a decent living or to have a say in the society (in the democratic process of decision-making).

Some additional information on gender gap in India (on the economic front) reveal that India is home to nearly 65 crore women, which is 75 per cent of the entire women population of South Asia.

India is almost at the bottom of the ladder (among 153 countries) and only ranked above Pakistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq in terms of economic opportunities for women. In the neighbouring Bangladesh, 38 per cent adult women are part of the labour force compared with 84 per cent men. In developed Norway, women are almost equal to men in the matter of labour force participation.

Only a quarter (25 per cent) of adult Indian women engage actively in the labour market, working or looking for work, compared to 82 per cent men.

Women’s estimated earned income in India is a mere one-fifth (20 per cent) of male income, which is among the lowest (144th) among 153 countries.

Worse, the average share spent on unpaid domestic work by an Indian woman is 12 times more than his male counterpart. Women spend 312 minutes per day in urban areas and 291 minutes per day in rural areas on unpaid care work, while men spend only 29 minutes in urban and 32 minutes in rural areas, as per 2019 report. In Norway or the US, women spend only twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work. “Among the 153 countries studied, India is the only country where economic gender gap is larger than political gender gap.”

For every 100 men, there are only 91 women. The 17th Lok Sabha has 78 women MPs, at 14 per cent. There are six women ministers, which is about 10 per cent.

According to the National Crime Bureau, every 22 minutes a woman is raped in India.

Nineteen MPs have cases related to crimes against women and three MPs have rape cases against them.

In 2018, there were 33,356 cases related to atrocities against women, which means 91 crimes every day. The conviction rate is 27.2 per cent. There were 39,827 instances of crimes against girl children.

Uttar Pradesh tops the list of crimes (atrocities) against women and girl children.

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Published: 24 Jan 2020, 9:00 PM