Friday, November 16, 2007

Millions or Billions - Why Care

Lakshmi Mittal has been ranked as India's wealthiest person for a fourth year by Forbes Asia magazine. It put Mr Mittal's fortune at $51 billion (£25 billion), double last year's level.

Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries is snapping at Mr Mittal's heels in second place. His net worth grew at a faster pace than Mr Mittal's last year to a total of $49 billion. Mukesh Ambani is building a 27-storey house in Mumbai for his family and this month gave his wife an Airbus 319 as a birthday gift .
"It matters little to me whether my personal fortunes are measured in billions or millions.'' he has said

Ambani's brother, Anil, ranks third, with his net worth rising by $30.2billion to $45billion.

Kushal Pal Singh is fourth on list with a net worth of $35 billion, making him the world's richest real-estate developer. Mr Singh's wealth has more than tripled from the $10billion he had last year after his company, DLF, listed on the stock market in June this year and its stock surged 60% in value.

Fifth position is Azim Premji, the head of technology giant Wipro who is currently valued at $14.8 billion

The net worth of India's 40 richest people now totals $351 billion, with the top three alone worth more than China's top 40, who have a net worth of $120 billion.
India now has 54 billionaires, 18 more than last year . The stock market has roared 53% higher in the past year, and a rupee has appreciated 12% during the same period

We have previous reported the flip side here and here .

But , in case there is a need of reminding half of the nation's 1.1 billion people live on less than $2 a day. The country has among the world's highest prevalence of underweight children at 47 percent, according to the United Nations Children's Fund. About 22 percent of the country's 193.6 million households don't have safe drinking water.
India’s ranking on the basis of the global hunger index (GHI), compiled by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), is No. 96 among 119 developing countries . The rich get richer but the IFPRI survey shows no progress on hunger alleviation between 1997 and 2003 at the same time .Yet , the fact was that the country was net surplus in food, and also a net exporter of food during that period . The economic access of the poor to food has not improved. Even schemes like Antyodaya , aimed at supplying highly subsidised foodgrain to the poorest of the poor, do not seem to have produced the desired results.

No comments: