New Delhi: Money begets money and more money begets even more money. The saying holds so apt for India. The number of super-rich with a total income of Rs 100 crore (one billion rupees) or more have jumped to 136 in FY21 from 77 two years ago reflecting growing inequality in the world’s second-most populous country.
Replying to a written query on the number of billionaires and the rise in their wealth, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the number of individuals disclosing gross total income of Rs 100 crore or more was 77 in FY18, 141 in FY20 and 136 in FY21.
As per the information available with Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), there is no legislative or administrative definition of the term billionaire under direct taxes.
“Wealth tax has been abolished with effect from April 1, 2016 and, therefore, CBDT does not any more capture information about complete wealth of an individual taxpayer,” said the Minister.
Bangalore-based brand strategist Harish Bijoor said that more money makes more money and anybody with lots of money is making that much lot more.
“There are physical streams of income and there are digital streams of income. The physical stream takes longer time to increase whereas digital streams seem to be taking much faster. Therefore, the world is divided in digital haves and physical have-nots,” said Bijoor.
As per Forbes World’s Billionaires list 2021 released in April, the number of Indian billionaires rose to 140 this year from 102 in 2020 bucking all downward trends during the pandemic when millions lost their jobs and incomes.
India reported the third highest number of billionaires across the world with a combined wealth of $596 billion.