Thursday, November 19, 2009

India's 100 richest worth 25% of the GDP

The Billionaires Club of India almost doubled from last year to 54 members up from 27, aided by a rebounding stock market that gained two-thirds in the past year and an economy growing at six percent. According to Forbes Asia magazine, the country's 100 richest people have a combined net worth of USD 276 billion, which was almost a quarter of the country's GDP.

Last year, there were only 27 billionaires on the India Rich List. This year, the number has almost doubled to 52-two short of what India had at the peak of the stock market boom in 2007.

The top 10 richest in India are:

1. Mukesh Ambani $32 billion
2. Lakshmi Mittal $30 billion
3. Anil Ambani $17.5 billion
4. Azim Premji $14.9 billion
5. Shashi & Ravi Ruia $13.6 billion
6. K.P. Singh $13.5 billion
7. Savitri Jindal $12 billion
8. Sunil Mittal $8.2 billion
9. Kumar Birla $7.8 billion
10. Gautam Adani $6.4 billion

It would be interesting to know what these people have done, or plan to do for the society, which has given them this wealth. India is a nation where still about 300 million (30 Cr.) people are below poverty line. unless we try to bridge this gap it will be hard to even think of a developed India by even 2050 leave alone the vision of 2020.

The World Bank's definition of the poverty line, for under developed countries, like India, is US$ 1/day/person or US $365 per year. As per this definition, more than 75% of all Indians are, probably, below the poverty line!

As per the Government of India, poverty line for the urban areas is Rs. 296 per month and for rural areas Rs. 276 per month, i.e. people in India who earn less than Rs. 10 per day. As per GOI, this amount will buy food equivalent to 2200 calories per day, medically enough, to prevent death. At this level of earning, even in a poor country like India, survival on Rs. 10 per day is a nightmare! This actually translates to Rs. 3650 per year or US $ 75 per year.

And at the end what about Swiss Bank A/c, Politicians, Gangsters, Smugglers of fake currency network? Do they also a/c for another 25% of GDP? When we say India is 86th corrupt nation, does raise the eye brow of some people. What were the bench mark tools used to calculate the corruption index. We think India and Pakistan should be in the top 10 list of corrupt nations.

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