Chapter 15 Unequal Distribution: Inequalities of Income and Wealth – Indian Economy

15

Unequal Distribution: Inequalities of Income and Wealth

Widespread Inequality in the World

In almost all market-driven economies of the world, be they developed or developing, there are tremendous disparities in the manner in which incomes and wealth are distributed. Even in socialist economies, inequalities of income cannot be totally eradicated as political big wigs, scientists, professionals and efficient and comparatively more productive workers have to be compensated more than ordinary workers, which cause disparities in income. India too has tremendous disparities in the distribution of income and wealth. There are various reasons why there are so many inequalities in income and wealth distribution. Comparative studies show that though such disparities are common throughout the world, it is seen to be more intense in India because of the grinding poverty of India’s teeming millions who constitute a majority and are on the brink of starvation while the few fabulously rich indulge in ostentatious and conspicuous consumption. In the following pages, we examine what constitutes economic inequality and also analyse both the spectrums of the Indian population, the poor and the marginalized at one end, and the prosperous and wealthy on the other.

What is Economic Inequality?

Economic inequality consists of all disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. The term ‘inequality’ generally refers to economic disparities that exist among individuals and groups within a society, and also points to the inequality among countries. Economic inequality typically refers to inequality of income, and is related to the idea of inequality of opportunity. It is a mixed and vexed question whether economic inequality is a positive or negative phenomenon, both on utilitarian and moral grounds.

Economic inequality has existed in a wide range of societies and historical periods; its nature, causes and importance are open to a broad debate. A country’s economic structure or system, as for example, capitalism or socialism, ongoing or past conflicts, and differences in individuals’ inborn or acquired abilities to create wealth are all involved in the creation of economic inequality. Sometimes, certain policies initiated by the government can cause inequalities in income and wealth such as licensing policies, quotas, restrictions and reservations in jobs, education and even attempts at empowerment and the so-called inclusive growth.

There are various numerical indices for measuring economic inequality and is often measured using the Gini coefficient, though there are also many other methods. Differences in national income equality around the world are measured by the national Gini coefficient. The Gini coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 corresponds to perfect equality meaning a situation where everyone has the same income and 1 corresponds to perfect inequality referring to a situation where one person has all the income, and everyone else has zero income.

Why So Much Inequality?

‘In the debate over growth and equality, and comparisons of India and China, proponents of India’s path to development make much of the fact that income inequality in India is relatively low. Yes, India’s income distribution is relatively less unequal. But inequality is rising fast’.2 The UN Human Development Report 2006 which measured the Human Development Index (HDI) estimated the Gini Index for India to be 32.5 (in 2000), which compares favourably with other countries of the world, including, for instance, the USA and OECD countries (Sweden: 25; Norway: 25.8; China: 44.7; USA: 40.8; Brazil: 58). Gini Index illustrates inequality is growing in India. For observers of economic growth, this is illustrative because growth has not reduced inequality. Instead, income inequality has exacerbated considerably, rising from a historic low of 29.6 in 1990 to 32.5 in 2000 (a rise of 9.7%).3

Surprisingly, the rate at which India achieved improvements in life expectancy, a vital component of HDI, seemed to slow down considerably in the post-liberalization era presumably because: (i) As the GNP rises, the resulting income inequality may be impacting the overall life expectancy. As fewer people earn more, the GNP rises, but on the other side of the spectrum, the large majority that gets relatively poorer are worse off than before; and the market-driven Indian economy of today provides far less for its people than did the India which followed a socialist pattern of society. Under the guise of reform, government is withdrawing not only from the market but also from public services.

Of course, a correlation between growth and inequality does not by itself disprove the need for economic growth. Economists still argue that ‘growth is a necessary condition for reducing poverty, and in India it has indeed brought millions out of poverty. But it may also have made many worse off.’4

Causes of Inequality

There are many reasons for economic inequality within societies. Among the causes attributed for the high level poverty in India are its impoverishment caused by the ‘economic drain’ under the British rule, large and growing population, low literacy, societal structure including the caste system and role of women, dependence on agriculture, and the economic policies adopted by the government after independence. Other factors that bring about economic inequality include a large proportion of unskilled workforce, differences in innate human ability, age and experience, education, race, gender, culture, wealth condensation, development patterns and personal preference for work, leisure and risk.5 These causes are often inter-related, non-linear and complex.

India is Home to a Third of the World’s Poor

Poverty in India is widespread with the nation estimated to have a third of the world’s poor. According to the 2005 World Bank estimate, 42 per cent of India’s population falls below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day (Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in nominal terms), is Rs 21.6 a day in urban areas and Rs 14.3 in rural areas, having reduced from 60 per cent in 1980.6 On the other hand, ‘According to the criterion used by the Indian Planning Commission 27.5 per cent of the population was living below the poverty line in 2004–05, down from 51.3 per cent in 1977–1978, and 36 per cent in 1993–1994.’7

Since the 1950s, the Indian government has initiated several programmes to address the problem of poverty, by subsidizing food and other necessities, introducing quotas and reservations in education and employment, increased access to loans, improving agricultural techniques and price supports, and promoting free education and family planning. These ameliorative measures combined together have helped eradicate famines, reduce absolute poverty levels by more than half, and brought down illiteracy and malnutrition. India’s middle class has also seen large increase and is expected to grow to 40 per cent of the population in the near future.

What is the Percentage of Below Poverty Line (BPL) People in India?

Almost half of India’s population experiencing most severe poverty is concentrated in just five states: Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. As ill luck would have it, these poorest states also have the largest and fastest growing populations. Due to regional disparities that exist among Indian States, the Indian government rejects the World Bank’s $1 per day formula for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) benchmark, preferring a poverty headcount ratio based on a basket of essential food and non-food commodities valued separately for each State, and for urban and rural communities. On this basis, 37.5 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line in the MDG baseline year (1990), falling to 22 per cent in 2005. This estimate suggests that the target of halving poverty by 2015 is likely to be achieved; in fact, the alternative $1 per day basis of the World Bank gives a similar result of 24 per cent. However, the World Bank has recently recommended that the threshold for extreme poverty should be raised to $1.25 per day which transforms the picture in India. The revised benchmark captures 42 per cent of the population, or more than 450 million people, which roughly works out to be one-third of the total world figure. ‘Whatever the merits of these alternative calculations, it is clear that vast numbers of households survive close to the poverty line and that food price inflation poses a serious threat to India’s poverty reduction.’8

The Other Side of the Spectrum: The Rich and the Mighty

The Land of Billionaires

If a vast proportion of Indians live below the poverty line and the country is home to almost one-third of the world’s wretched and the poor, it has also a sizable number of billionaires and high net worth individuals (HNIs), giving a picture of extreme contrast between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in the Indian society.

The total number of Indian billionaires was 53 in 2008. India was hailed then as Asia’s wealthiest nation in terms of total number of billionaires in 2008. Anil Ambani was the biggest gainer on Forbes’ list with a net worth of US $ 42.1 billion and placed 6th in ranking in 2008. His elder brother Mukesh is the richest Indian with a net worth of US $ 19.5 billion in 2009. Almost all billionaires of the world lost considerable fortunes in their net worth between 2008 and 2009 because of global recession. Anil Ambani’s net worth fell by US $ 32 billion during the stock market crash making him yield his number one position to his elder brother Mukesh in 2009. Among the global list of billionaires, Indians ‘constitute just over 3 per cent of the billionaire population. One sixth of the population would come to 135. That is not surprising because the Indian economy is just about 5 per cent of the global economy right now’.9

Among the top 10 richest people from across the world, India had the biggest presence with four persons in 2008. The two Indians who made it to the list of top 10 richest persons are the Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, who has been ranked as the wealthiest in the country with a net worth of $19.5 billion, followed by NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal with $19.3 billion. Mumbai is the only Indian city to have been named in the list of top 10 billionaire’s cities. It is home to 10 billionaires with an average net worth of 5.2 billion dollars. In the global list, Ambani has been positioned 7th and Mittal 8th in 2009.

Though China has larger number of billionaires in 2009, yet in value terms they are far behind their Indian counterparts. The added wealth of Indian billionaires was $107 billion, while the combined worth of Chinese billionaires was $44 billion. Listed below was the Forbes list of top ‘10  richest people in India’ (with net worth in $ billion, in brackets): 1. Mukesh Ambani (19.5); 2.  Lakshmi Mittal (19.3); 3. Anil Ambani (10.1); 4. Sunil Mittal and family (7.7); 5. Azim Premji (5.7); 6. Shashi and Ravi Ruia (5.6); 7. Kushal Pal Singh (5.0); 8. Kumar Mangalam Birla (4.2); 9. Adi Godrej and family (3.3); and 10. Dilip Shanghvi (3.0). For the year 2010, there were 8 Indians in the Forbes’ list of 100 wealthiest persons in the world in the following pecking order: 4th Mukesh Ambani ($29  billion); 5th Lakshmi Mittal ($26.7 billion); 27th Azim Premji ($17 billion); 36th Anil Ambani ($13.7 billion); 40th Shashi and Ravi Ruia ($13 billion); 44th Savitri Jindal ($12.2 billion); 74th Kushal Pal Singh ($9 billion); 86th Kumar Mangalam Birla ($7.9 billion); 87th Sunil Mittal ($7.8 billion). According to Forbes, India is one among the 11 countries which have at least doubled the number of billionaires they had in 2013.

High Net Worth Individuals

Apart from billionaires, India and China were together projected to treble the number of high net worth individuals (HNIs) from 4.48 lakh in 2008 in the next one decade, as per a recent Asia-Pacific Wealth report by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Capgemini SA, which pegged the number of Indian HNIs at 84,000 for the year 2013. According to the report, HNIs are those individuals who have investable assets of more than $1 million (approximately Rs 47 million), excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables.

India is in all probability set to see an increase of three times in the number of its HNIs over the next decade. According to the above cited report, growth in Asia Pacific’s HNWI population and wealth is set to pick up as market conditions improve. The combined wealth of this region’s HNWIs is expected to increase by 8.8 per cent per annum until 2018, faster than the world average of 7.1 per cent.

‘Even though India has stringent regulations, huge market potential and growth have made it important for global companies while considering their business strategies and investment decisions. India needs to watch out for new trends like emerging wealth outside metro areas,’ according to Salil Parekh, CEO, Financial Services, India and Asia Pacific, Capgemini.10

Though the high growth rate of HNIs in 2007 got reversed in 2008 due to global financial meltdown, the high rate of economic growth provides them ample opportunity to increase their wealth. As a result, their ranks are expected to swell in the next decade. India is estimated to have over 250,000 people in the HNI club by 2018. ‘In 2018, India’s HNI population is expected to be more than triple its size in 2008, with emergent wealth playing a key role,’ according to the report. The report also asserted that wealth is likely to percolate to rural and semi-urban areas. India at present has 80 million middle-class households and only 25 million live in Tier-I cities such as Mumbai and Delhi, while many others reside in smaller cities and beyond.11 Another interesting feature is ‘Among the current HNI population, only 13 per cent have inherited their wealth and only 9 per cent are over the age of 66, suggesting economic growth has the potential to boost the size of the HNI population’.12

Indian CEOs’/ Executives’ Breath-taking Salaries

Till the 1990s, the salaries of MDs—that is, CEOs who came under the purview of the Companies Act were capped. The rules in those days stipulated that MDs could not earn more than the President of India. Till 1970s, they could not earn more than Rs 7500, a figure which got increased to Rs 15,000 in the 1980s. With the exorbitant tax rate exceeding 90 per cent at one stage—and the limitations on take-home salaries were indeed huge. Then most large companies compensated their executives by offering them lavish lifestyles in terms of large houses, multiple cars, armies of servants and subsidizing as many expenses as the tax laws would legally allow (such as taking a tax break on spare rooms designated as official guest rooms). Many promoter groups did away with MDs and preferred to designate their CEOs ‘president’. Since a company’s president was beyond the purview of the Companies Act, it was not subject to limitations on pay and perks. This worked for family-promoted companies where family members wanted to keep managerial powers with themselves. MDs, on the other hand, had ‘substantial powers of management’ as defined under the Companies Act, so though they had curbs on remuneration, they had far more powers than a president. MDs had powers but curbs on remuneration. Though companies’ presidents had no curbs on salaries, their powers were curbed by the whims and fancies of company promoters.

Things have completely been altered now. Most CEOs earn in multiples of what the President of India gets, though he lives in a palatial presidential residence and has an enviable fleet of cars and attendants. This is because the supply of CEO has fallen way short of the demand with the corporate sector growing rapidly in the last decades. There is a huge talent constraint, especially at the higher levels. Talent growth lags behind economic growth. There is a very small pool of talent with global perspective or exposure. It is true that the stock market boom too has played a role in the phenomenal rise in salaries. Efficient CEOs are required to keep investors happy and they come for a hefty price. It is a case of value contribution versus value expectation.

Being the CEO of an Indian company has never been more rewarding for a professional than at present with a fleet of expensive cars, a large house, overseas holidays and an eight-figure salary, with year-end bonus and stock options thrown in for a good measure. Top executives with unheard of compensations are the new rich created by the booming Indian economy. A CEO salary of over a million dollars no longer creates shock and awe among the knowledgeable. Television and entertainment salaries have risen because the burnout in creative teams is very high. Most multinational broadcasters have started paying CEOs Rs 40–50 million a year—both Star and Sony would be in this range, says a Star India source. Disney and Discovery are known to pay between Rs 20  million and Rs 30 million a year. Though the hike has been across the board, top-end salaries have risen particularly fast in sectors such as private equity, insurance, retail, investment banks and telecom, where growth has been phenomenal in the last few years. According to another recent estimate, there are between $75  million and $100 non-promoter CEOs in the country spread across high growth sectors such as financial services, private equity, consulting, telecommunications and information technology. A CEO can cost a company anywhere between Rs 10 million and Rs 35 million. A divisional head too will not come for less than Rs 10 million. These salaries have been growing at 30–40 per cent per annum in the last few years. At the rate at which it grows, their compensation could double again in another three years! Recruiters of high-end executives say that overseas postings are no longer a big draw for Indian professionals—such has been the improvement in Indian pay packages. Going to Singapore, West Asia or Europe is no longer a craze it used to be earlier. NRIs are very happy to return to India as semi-expats.

The salaries paid by listed firms to their top brass even in 2008–09, were really mind-boggling. Kalanithi Maran of Sun TV Network, Chairman and MD, and his wife Kavery Kalanithi were the highest earners with a remuneration of Rs 3708 million each. Maran is followed by Reliance Communication Chairman Anil Ambani with a salary of Rs 3008 million in the year ending 31 March 2009, which was around 20 per cent of the total profits generated by the company. Ambani has also earned a salary of about Rs 110 million each in his capacity as Chairman of two other ADAG firms—Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Capital. Some other top grossers in 2008–09 included Madras Cement CMD P. R. Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha with a salary of Rs 287.14 million, while Jindal Steel’s Executive Vice Chairman and MD Naveen Jindal earned Rs 282.7 million. Moreover, Bharti Airtel’s CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal received a remuneration of Rs 228.9 million and Hero Honda Motor Chairman Brijmohan Lall Munjal got Rs 197.9 million, while the company’s MD and CEO, Pawan Munjal received Rs 196.8 million in FY 09.13

More than 600 top executives in Indian companies have earned salaries of over Rs 10 million in 2010–11, a staggering 250 times of the country’s per capita income. In 2008–09, the per capita income of an Indian was just Rs 40,000. Based on latest data compiled by financial data provider Capitaline, as many as 635 top-level executives have received such remuneration.

It is not only the CEOs whose salaries have crossed the Rs 10 million barrier. In 2005–06, Bharti Airtel had 13 executives who were drawing Rs 10 million and more. In fact, with a salary cheque of Rs 32 million per annum, Joint Managing Director Akhil Gupta was paid better than the other joint managing director and a promoter of the company, Rajan Bharti Mittal who was drawing just Rs 24.8 million.

CIPLA’s Joint Managing Director Amar Lulla got the same as the other joint managing director and promoter, M. K. Hamied whose pay packet was Rs 73.3 million. Larsen & Toubro had eight employees netting over Rs 10 million during the year, while Hero Honda had five, ICICI Bank five and ITC three. Ranbaxy Laboratories has hired a business development head for the US for between $250,000 and $275,000. This does not include stock options and bonus. R & D people too get attractive salaries. For instance, Ranbaxy hired Rashmi Barbhaiya from the US to head its R & D function reportedly on a salary of a half-million dollars.

Apart from these astronomical salaries, there are stock options. Numbers crunched by the Business Standard Research Bureau show that there were 194 India Inc., employees sitting on stock options of Rs 10 million or more. Many of them could easily fit into the annual listing of Indian billionaires. Four of them have stock options worth over Rs 1 billion—Tech Mahindra’s MD Vineet Nayyar with stock options worth Rs 2.16 billion leads the pack, followed by L&T CMD A. M. Naik with Rs 1.65 billion, Infosys Technologies’ directors T. V. Mohandas Pai with Rs 1.34 billion and Srinath Batni Rs 1.15 billion. During normal years, this amount could have easily been the valuation of a mid-sized company. Bonus payments made to investment bankers at the end of the year look like fantasies one cannot even imagine. With mergers and acquisitions topping $26 billion in the first nine months of 2006, investment bankers, who charge at least 1.5 per cent of the deal size as fees, earned upwards of $390 million during the period. In 2005 for closing deals worth $29 billion, they were supposed to have earned at least $435 million for closing deals worth $29 billion.

And it is not just the salary on offer—perks too have gone up to dizzy heights in recent times. CEOs are made to go on compulsory vacation with an all-expense paid overseas holiday for a fortnight for the whole family. Many companies offer today training and development at top Ivy b-schools such as Kellogg or Harvard. Likewise, memberships to prestigious clubs is the norm with all expenses (dinner, games, drinks, spa and gym) taken care of. Companies also provide CEOs unlimited expense on corporate cards as it is awkward thing to set a limit. CEOs can splurge on entertainment. Top executives use company-owned jets, which were earlier the sole preserve of the promoters. CEOs and top executives are even consulted by promoters before buying an aircraft. Moreover, it is difficult today to find a CEO of even a mid-sized company without an S-class Mercedes. Bharti Airtel chief Sunil Bharti Mittal bought 15 Mercs for the senior management team when his rival Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications started poaching from other telecom companies.

Some Salaries Vastly Disproportionate to Company’s Revenue

Some of the biggest pay packets in India are drawn by people from promoter families, and not by professional managers. In several instances, the total remuneration is disproportionate to the revenues and profits of the company.

Clearly, size does not matter when it comes to top guns’ pay in India Inc., reveals an ET study. CEOs and MDs of several mid-size firms are getting much more than their counterparts in blue chip companies. Madras Cements CMD P. R. R. Rajha, for example, was paid Rs 287 million for the year ended March 2009 while Sumit Banerjee of ACC, a much bigger cement firm, took home just Rs 214 million. For instance, Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor, managing director and creative director of Balaji Telefilms, took home Rs 247 million and Rs 269 million, respectively, when the company reported consolidated net profit of just Rs 47 lakh for 2008–09. Similarly, Salora International’s managing director Gopal Jiwarajka took home Rs 118 million when the electronics company reported consolidated earnings of Rs 9.5 lakh for the year ended March 2009. And Noel Tata, managing director of retail firm Trent, received Rs 162 million in a year the company generated consolidated net profit of Rs 104 million.

Though most companies observe faithfully the guidelines under the law when it comes to executive pay, some smaller companies do not show keenness in following such norms. Besides, companies can pay more than the recommended level after getting it approved by their remuneration committees. As per the existing law, there is an 11 per cent cap on executive compensation. Interestingly, the Companies Bill, 2009, does away with these caps. Section 175 of the law states that an MD or whole-time director or manager of a company may be remunerated either by way of a monthly payment, or at a specified per cent of the net profits of the company. Salman Khurshid, Corporate Affairs minister kicked up a row in October 2009 by hinting at government regulation on CEO compensations. M. S. Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, supported the call against ‘indecent salary’ of corporate heads while the comment attracted widespread criticism from corporates. The then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, when queried by the Press on the issue, expressed the opinion that the quantum of executive compensation best be left to stock holders. Salman Khurshid seemed to take a cue from his boss, when he asserted later: ‘Shareholders should be able to take decision with freedom, rationality, information and there should be enough disclosures to enable them take a free and transparent decision’.15

Still, it is going to be a long time before top Indian CEOs can get even close to what their counterparts in the West are getting. To be fair, CEOs of the world’s biggest companies are not those who figure among the highest paid executives globally. For instance, Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, the world’s largest company with revenues of over $440 billion in 2008, took home around $22 million. Alan Mulally became the CEO of Ford in 2012 on an annual package of $18.8 million. Jagdish Khattar, the managing director of Maruti Udyog, India’s largest car company, got Rs 14.7 million—less than half a million dollars—in 2005–06. A survey by Alpha magazine showed that the world’s top 25 hedge fund managers took home almost $15 billion in 2012–13 last year—more than the national income of Jordan—and three of them took home more than $1 billion each. Still, nobody is complaining.

Politicians Too Swim in Wealth

Among India’s new class of the rich are the politicians who rank among the richest in the country, according to the affidavits filed by them with the Election Commission during the last general elections. There are 300 multi-millionaire MPs—a huge increase from 154 MPs in the last Lok Sabha. Deepak Bhardwaj, a 58-year-old hotelier from Delhi, who contested the Lok Sabha polls from West Delhi, had personal assets worth Rs 6040 million. Khimjibhai Harjivanbhai Patadiya, a 53-year-old independent candidate from Surendranagar, Gujarat, had Rs 5150 million worth of personal wealth. Nama Nageswara Rao of the TDP from Khammam, Telangana, has a declared an asset of Rs 173 crore. Kanwar Singh Tanwar who contested from South Delhi has declared an asset of Rs 1550 million. Navin Jindal (Congress) from Kurushetra, Haryana, has declared assets of Rs 1310  million. Samajwadi Party leader, Abu Azmi, who contested from Mumbai North–West has Rs 1240 million worth of personal assets. Andhra MPs are the richest bloc; Haryana tops on average wealth. Though they are not 10 per cent of the total Lok Sabha seats, the 42 MPs from the State together are the richest bloc in the Lok Sabha with a wealth of over Rs 6000 million. These are only a few samples.16 Most politicians come from semi-urban or rural background, as a result of which they have a lot in property or fixed assets. They do not, as a rule, invest in shares. ‘Politicians do not understand stock markets; they perceive it as a risky proposition. Moreover, there is a stigma attached to politicians investing in stocks. They’re scared of rivals accusing them of unholy links with businessmen and punters,’ Mr Vijay added.17

Conclusion

In India, as in many other countries, inequality of income is widespread and highly visible. Time was when such disparities in income and wealth were taken for granted, and even considered as a natural reflection of personal intellectual and physical endowments and their exploitation. However, in recent times, disparities in income and wealth are considered as aberrations that have to be seriously curtailed by promoting ‘inclusive growth’ or ensure economic development with a ‘human face’. A  serious and balanced study of the issue shows that as long as individuals are created and gifted differently with diverse abilities and qualities, inequalities of income and wealth are bound to be there. What could be done to reduce the adverse impact of such disparities is to promote social consciousness and sense of equity amongst the people so as to evolve a society in which the rich and wealthy consider themselves as trustees of God-given resources and use them to the betterment and uplift of the marginalized sections of society. This will hopefully blunt the stink arising out of disparities that have become part and parcel of our modern materialist society.

References

1. De Mel, M. B. and Fernando, A. C. (1969), Economic History: India, England, America, Russia and Japan (Bombay: New Literature Publishing Company).

2. Chanana, Dweep (2007), Income Inequality Growing in India, June 22, 2007, available online: http://www.planetd.org/2007/06/22/income-inequality-in-india/

3. The Indian Economy Blog, July 30, 2007, Income Inequality In India: Growth, Health And Development, available on line: http://indianeconomy.org/2007/07/30/income-inequality-in-India-growth-health-and-development/

4. http://www.planetd.org/2007/06/22/income-inequality-in-india/

5. India’s HNI club to expand in 10 years, available online: http://24dunia.com/english-news/business-news/showgroup/4199731.html

6. New Global Poverty Estimates—‘What it means for India’. World Bank, available online: http://www.worldbank.org.in/WBSITE /EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/SOUTHASIAE XT/INDIAEXTN/0,contentMDK:21880725~pagePK:141137~piPK:141127~theSitePK:295584,00.html

7. Poverty Estimates for 2004–05, Planning Commission, Government of India, March 2007.

8. http://qna.rediff.com/questions-and-answers/what-is-the-percentage-of-below-povert-line-bpl-people-in-india/15164110/answers

9. http://jhangora.blogspot.com/2009/03/forbes-2009-billionaires-list-india.html

10. http://www.livemint.com/2009/10/13234939/India8217s-HNI-population-t.html

11. http://business.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/14/indias-high-net-worth-population-dips-32-pc.htm

12. http://www.hindustantimes.com/rssfeed/busi ness/India-China-to-triple-super-rich-by-18/Article1-464847.aspx

13. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News-By-Company/Corporate-Trends/Over-600-top-execs-earned-crore-plus-salaries-in-FY09/articleshow/5094462.cms

14. Puri, Mahima and Sinha, Vivek (2009), Some salaries disproportionate with company revenue, The Economic Times, 10  October 2009, New Delhi, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/Revenue-mid-rung-salary-top-drawer/article show/5108655.cms

15. Shareholders to decide exec pay, The Economic Times, Chennai Edition, 6  November 2009.

16. Criminals and Wealth are equally abundant in the new 2009 Lok Sabha, The Hindu, Chennai Edition, May 19 2009, http://kaushal42.blogspot.com/2009/05/criminals-and-wealth-are-equally.html

17. Politicians swim in wealth, but shy away from bourses, The Economic Times, 14 October 2009, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Markets/Analysis/Politicians-swim-in-wealth-but-shy-away-from-bourses/articleshow/5121859.cms