January 26, 2020

Inequity worsens in India: Oxfam report

THE Oxfam, released a study called ‘Time to Care’ ahead of the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos. According to the report on India,  Oxfam said the combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total union budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19 which was at Rs 24,42,200 crore.

Not just that India’s one per cent hold more than four times the wealth held by 953 million people who make up for the 70 per cent of the bottom country’s population.

As per the report, it would take a female domestic worker 22,277 years to earn what a top CEO of a technology company makes in one year.

With earnings pegged at Rs 106 per second, a tech CEO would make more in 10 minutes than what a domestic worker would make in one year.

It further said 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 (Rs 93,000 crore).

Besides, direct public investments in the care economy of 2 per cent of GDP would potentially create 11 million new jobs and make up for the 11 million jobs lost in 2018, the report said.

The gap between rich and poor cannot be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies, and too few governments are committed to these.

The women and girls are among those who benefit the least from today's economic system. They 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, businesses and societies moving.