India Inequality Report 2018: Widening Gaps
In spite of the rising global interest in inequality, emerging economies have not been studied enough, due to the lack of sufficient data and differences in economic and social structures. It is important to
measure the extent of inequality to understand the growth trajectories of these economies and the income distribution between various population groups. The study of inequality has not been given adequate attention in India, partly because of the argument that inequality is a natural by-product of rapid growth and partly because the levels of consumption expenditure inequality in India appear to be lower than that in many other developing countries.
The rapid rise in inequality is neither inevitable nor harmless. Societies with higher inequality tend to have poorly functioning public services. This is reflected in India’s ridiculously low social sector expenditures on education and health. The experiences of many other countries show that inequality can be reduced through public action. India has much to learn from these experiences in ensuring financial inclusion and tax compliance, removing corporate loan waivers and tax exemptions, introducing wealth and inheritance taxes, and enacting legislation to provide access to the basic entitlements of the citizens.