The pandemic brought the world to a stop one year ago. It is still wreaking a havoc today. Last year the stock markets came crashing down and billionaires lost too much in too little of time. However, they recovered their losses within a span of 9 months and increased their wealth manifold during the lockdown.
On the other hand, middle class and people below poverty line could not achieve the same kind of bounce back. In fact, millions of common people have degraded from middle class to poor and from poor to extremely poor category.
We have already recognized corona as medical emergency but not many can see that it’s a financial emergency as well. Did you know that corona has shrunk India’s middle class population by 32 million?
2021 is yet to reveal its full effect though.
How rich became richer?
Indian billionaires saw there wealth go up by Rs 12.97 trillion during Covid-19. To understand the scale of this growth: If you divide this wealth among 13 crore 80 lakh poor people in India then everyone will get 1 lakh rupees!
Thanks to cost cutting companies made record profits despite the pandemic. Employees were laid off in a difficult time, salaries and spend on advertising were both reduced due to corona. Work from home saved a lot on the bills as well. Amid pandemic and unemployment 38 new billionaires emerged.
Impact on middle class
Sadly, 3 crore middle class is not middle class anymore. This has happened for the first time since the 1990s. What’s worse India accounts for 60% of the global contraction. On the contrary, China’s middle class population has decreased by only 1 crore. We did worse because our economy was on a decline even before covid.
Long road to recovery for the poor
From 2011 to 2019 the number of poor had reduced from 34 crore to 8 crore. This was as of Feb 2020. But due to the pandemic, poverty doubled again as per the study by Pew. Nowhere else in the world has the poor suffered so much as in India. But news channels don’t cover it. According to Oxfam, covid has worsened income inequality. The poorest won’t recover for at least a decade.
In short: While the impact of corona on healthcare is visible frequently be it on news or in real life, its financial effects on the other hand are not spoken of in detail and not covered by mainstream media.