Opposition slams govt over income inequality

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Jan 17 : Opposition parties on Monday slammed the government for the economic situation in the country, after a report said income of 84 per cent of households in the country declined in 2021, but at the same time the number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 142.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making his “friends” rich.

“The PM is making his friends rich and people are being weakened by unemployment and high taxes. Would the World Economic Forum discuss these statistics as well? They should,” he said in a tweet.

An Oxfam report titled “Inequality Kills’’, released on Sunday ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda, said in 2021, the collective wealth of India’s 100 richest people hit a record high of Rs 57.3 lakh crore (USD 775 billion). In the same year, the share of the bottom 50 per cent of the population in national wealth was a mere six per cent.

“As per the Oxfam report, the income of 84 per cent of households in the country declined in 2021, but at the same time, the number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 142 (39 per cent growth). The richest 98 Indians own the same wealth as the bottom 55.2 Crore Indians,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said.

“Continuous Increase in Indirect Taxes (GST) as a share of Central Government, constant increase in additional tax imposed on fuel are responsible for this. Lowering of corporate taxes from 30 per cent to 22 per cent resulted in a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh crore, contributing to India’s fiscal deficit. These trends show that the poor, marginalized, and the middle class paid high taxes despite going through the raging pandemic while the rich made more money,” Vallabh said.

“More than 4.6 crore Indians are estimated to have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020, nearly half of the global new poor according to the United Nations,” he said.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury meanwhile said, “This is ominous. More unemployment, misery & poverty is in store. Modi government must be forced to give unemployment allowance immediately. Direct cash transfers of Rs 7.5K per month & free food kits to all families outside tax bracket,” he said.

UNIINDIA

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