Reducing income inequality in India is a major achievement of the government.

It is often said about India that especially after the Corona epidemic, India’s economic sector is experiencing K-shaped growth. From the economic point of view, K-shaped development means that in the country’s economy, the poor are becoming poorer and the rich are becoming richer. However, in recent times, such policies have been made in India regarding income, savings, consumption and expenditure etc. that the poor section of the country gets maximum benefits. For this, many special schemes like Garib Anna Kalyan Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Housing Scheme and Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme etc. are being run. Under these schemes, the amount of subsidy etc. is transferred directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries. Due to this, the beneficiaries of poor class get 100 percent amount of assistance and the possibility of corruption in it becomes almost zero.

The Economic Research Department of the State Bank of India, in an in-depth analysis of the data related to income tax returns released by the Income Tax Department of India, has shown that the income inequality among the citizens in India is decreasing. Of the total number of people filing individual income tax returns in the country in the financial year 2014, 36.3 percent were from the low income group category of citizens and this group has now come in the middle income group category in the financial year 2021 and meanwhile this group has Income has increased by 21.1 percent. Due to this reason, the number of citizens with annual income of Rs 3.5 lakh has decreased from 31.8 percent in financial year 2014 to 15.8 percent in financial year 2021. Similarly, the contribution of the 2.5 percent citizens paying the highest income tax to the total income has reduced from 2.81 percent to 2.28 percent. Therefore, the number of middle income group citizens in the country is increasing rapidly. The average per capita income of citizens filing income tax has increased from Rs 3.1 lakh in the financial year 2014 to Rs 11.6 lakh in the financial year 2021 and it is expected to remain between Rs 12.5 to 13 lakh in the financial year 2022. Is.

The participation of Indian women in India’s economic development is also increasing. The number of women in the total labor force has increased from 23.3 percent in 2017-18 to 37 percent in the year 2022-23. Today, women are continuously increasing their contribution in the field of agriculture also. The number of women in filing income tax returns has now increased to 15 percent.

Due to the ever-rapid economic progress in India, today the sales of four-wheelers in India are achieving a higher growth rate than two-wheelers. In the financial year 2019, 2.12 crore two-wheelers were sold, while in that year there was only 2.1 percent growth in GDP in the agriculture sector and there was a deficit of about 14 percent in the monsoon. In the current financial year, sales of two-wheelers stood at Rs 1.8 crore. The main reason behind this is said to be that on the one hand, the middle class is purchasing houses for itself in large quantities and on the other hand, the middle class is today attracted towards buying four wheelers instead of two wheelers. Similarly, today about 2 crore families in semi-urban areas are using “Zomto App” to buy food items. Therefore, today the taste of the middle class of India is changing.

If the above behavior of citizens in the Indian economy continues in the future, then according to an estimate, at the end of the next decade, 50 percent of the products consumed (about Rs 16 lakh crore) will be among the citizens living below the poverty line. This will start being done by 90 percent of the citizens. Today, free food grains, free health services and houses etc. are being provided to the poor class on a large scale by the Central Government (so far 4 crore families have been provided houses to live in), due to which 8.2 lakh people of this class The capacity to consume additional crores of rupees has increased.

The number of citizens filing income tax returns in the income bracket of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh has increased by 295 percent between the financial year 2013-14 and the financial year 2021-22. Similarly, the number of citizens filing income tax returns in the income bracket of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh has increased by 291 percent. Income tax returns were filed by 7 crore citizens in the financial year 2022, this number increased to 7.4 crore in the financial year 2023 and is now expected to reach 8.5 crore in the financial year 2024. This number is 37 percent of the total number of workers in the formal sector in the country.

Traditionally, the number of citizens filing income tax returns from the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and Karnataka used to be high, but now some new states are rapidly moving forward in an effort to leave these states behind. Among these, the state of Uttar Pradesh is at first place. After this come the states of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Now the number of citizens filing income tax returns from these states is also increasing rapidly.

Apart from the citizens paying personal income tax, similar changes have also been seen in micro, small and medium scale units. Between financial year 2014 and financial year 2021, the income of 19.5 percent of micro-sized units has increased at a very fast pace and now these micro-sized units have transformed into small, medium and large category units. Out of these micro units, 4.8 percent units have been converted into small category units, 6.1 percent units have been converted into medium category units and 9.3 percent units have been converted into large category units. Especially after the implementation of production based incentive scheme in India, micro sized units are converting into small sized, medium sized and large sized units. In recent times, there has been an unprecedented increase in the amount of loans provided by banks to micro, small and medium scale units. In the financial year 2023, loans worth Rs 22.6 lakh crore were provided in 2.13 crore accounts of the above category of units and which on an average comes to about Rs 10.6 lakh per loan account.

-Prahlad Sabnani

Retired Deputy General Manager

state Bank of India

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