The wealth of India's top billionaires increased by Rs 12,97,822 crore, or 35 percent, during the Covid-19 lockdown since March last year and this amount is enough to give 13.8 crore poorest Indians a cheque for Rs 94,045 each, according to the latest report of Oxfam.
The report titled ''The Inequality Virus'' said it would take an unskilled worker 10,000 years to make what businessman Mukesh Ambani made in an hour during the pandemic and three years to make what he made in a second.
The report has been released on the opening day of the World Economic Forum's ''Davos Dialogues'', reports our New Delhi correspondent.
"India has the world's fourth lowest health budget in terms of its share of government expenditure," it said.
The report noted that billionaires like Gautam Adani, Shiv Nadar, Cyrus Poonawalla, Uday Kotak, Azim Premji, Sunil Mittal, Radhakrishan Damani, Kumar Manglam Birla and Laxmi Mittal working in the sectors like coal, oil, telecom, medicines, pharmaceutical, education and retail increased their wealth exponentially since March 2020 when India announced the Covid-19 lockdown and economy came to standstill.
On the other hand, data has shown that 170,000 people lost their jobs in every hour in the month of April 2020, the report said.
"Over 300 informal workers died due to the lockdown. The National Human Rights Commission recorded over 2,582 cases of human rights violation as early as in the month of April 2020," the report added.
Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said if not addressed immediately, the crises could worsen.