rnin     o io     onomi ss es        21.13
     conclusion                                                   wealth. We may have a look at the latest data from
                                                                  the Credit Suisse related to India’s inequality:
     The actual cost of demonetisation will be known
     by the end of the fiscal 2016-17 only. While the                     The richest 1 per cent owns 53 per cent of
                                                                          the country’s wealth.
     short-term gains of it will be limited in nature, the
     success of this move will be mainly known by its                     The richest 5 per cent own 68.6 per cent,
     long-term effects. However, to maximise the gains                    while the top 10 per cent have 76.3 per
     out of this, the Government needs to take several                    cent.
     other timely and rational steps to complement it.                    At the other end of the pyramid, the
     Thus, the momentum generated should not get                          poorer half competes in just 4.1 per cent
     reduced so that economy can realise the gains                        of the total wealth of the nation.
     from demonetisation.                                                 India’s richest 1 per cent owned just 36.8
                                                                          per cent of the country’s wealth in 2000,
        6. ADDreSSiNg iNeqUAliTy                                          while the share of the top 10 per cent
                                                                          was 65.9 per cent. Since then they have
                                                                          steadily increased their share in the
                                                                          country’s wealth—the share of the top 1
     Inequality has already been an important concern                     per cent now exceeds 50 per cent.
     in India for the Government. In the wake of                          India’s situation looks worse than the
     globalisation process, the debate has got even                       United States where the richest 1 per cent
     louder. Meanwhile, a few recent global reports                       owns 37.3 per cent of total wealth.
     (of early 2017) put India’s inequality concern on                    While India’s finest still have a long way
     top of the global debate. Several questions related                  to go before they match Russia, where the
     to the issue became focus of the debate among                        top 1 per cent owns a stupendous 70.3
     the experts and policy makers—how inequality                         per cent of the country’s wealth.
     hurts, who gets maximum hurt, how to address                     As per the new India Human Development
     the problem, etc7.                                           Survey (IHDS), which provides data on income
                                                                  inequality for the first time, India’s score of income
     ineQuAlity concerns                                          equality is lower than Russia, the United States,
     The latest New World Wealth (a Johannesburg-                 China and Brazil—is more egalitarian than only
     based company) report says India to be the second-           South Africa.
     most unequal country globally, with millionaires
     controlling 54 per cent of the nation’s wealth.              ineQuAlity neeDs to be checkeD
     With a total individual wealth of US$5,600                   Though inequality is found everywhere, its
     billion, it’s among the 10 richest countries in              extremes hurt economies multi-dimensionally. As
     the world. Yet, average Indian is relatively poor.           per Oxfam, sharp rise in inequality in India and
     If we compare India with Japan (the most equal               the other countries around the world is damaging,
     country in the world) situation looks even worse             and the governments of the countries need to
     where millionaires control only 22 per cent of the           make efforts to curb it. Rising inequality will have
                                                                  several negative consequences for the nations—
        7.  The write-up is based on several contemporary reports slowing down poverty reduction, challenging
            and Government releases such as–the Economic
            Survey 2016-17, Union Budget 2017-18, World           sustainability of economic growth, compounding
            Economic Forum, Oxfam reports, Credit Suisse, etc.    the inequalities between men and women, and