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The poor stay poor; the rich get rich, World Bank report

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The poor stay poor; the rich get rich, World Bank report
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While the World Bank's biennial report has estimated that 88 to 115 million people shall be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021 thanks to the COVID-19 escalated economy crash, 3 out of every four American billionaires have seen a surge in their net worth since the onset of the pandemic. 16 American billionaires doubled their net capital. In India, as per the Billionaires Insights Report 2020 published by UBS and PwC, the collective net worth of Indian billionaires have increased by 423 billion dollars between April and July; the first 4 months of the pandemic induced lockdown. As of 31st July, the net worth of India's billionaires ranked 6th across the globe after US, China, Germany, Russia and France.

With more customers relying on the online shopping platform Amazon for shopping, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world with his net worth surging 76 billion dollars from the start of the year and faring close to 186 billion dollars which crossed the 200 billion dollar cut-off in August 2020 and then again in October ahead of Prime day.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, had a net capital hike from 25 billion dollars to 92 billion dollars.

The second richest across the world, founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, stepped into the booming gaming demands during the pandemic and has a current net worth of 118 billion dollars. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg added another 46 billion dollars to his 45 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, in India, Mukesh Ambani added 37.3 billion dollars to his net worth and remains the wealthiest Indian for the 13th year in a row as reported by Forbes India Rich List 2020. Currently, his net worth is around 89 billion dollars. In April, Facebook made a 5.7 billion dollar investment into Ambani's telecom subsidiary Jio and so did other investors.

The second richest billionaire, Gautam Adani, has net capital worth 25.2 billion dollars. Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of the Poonawalla group which manufactures vaccines has entered the list of billionaires at rank 6 as the country watches out for a cure. "In a tumultuous year for the global economy, India's richest preserved their wealth. Fewer billionaires saw their wealth erode this year than they did in 2019," notes Forbes.

As per the report by Oxfam International titled 'India: Extreme inequality in numbers', 10% of the Indian population holds 77% of the total national wealth while 67 million Indians who comprise the poorest half of the population saw only a 1% increase in their wealth. The total wealth of billionaires in India is higher than the entire Union budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19, which was at INR 24422 billion. 63 million people in India are unable to access the healthcare they need.

While the wealth of billionaires across the globe reached a record of 10.2 trillion as of July 2020, they donated 7.2 billion to fight the pandemic, a meagre 0.0007% in the absence of sufficient taxation.

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