India’s K-Shaped Political Economy

The A-rated club of India’s corporate world, Ambani and Adani, are 10th and 13th on the list pushed past $100 billion and $80 billion between October 2020 and October 2021. Of the $130 billion added by 19 Indian billionaires, Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani added $65 billion, nearly the wealth of Jim Walton, in just one year.

Typically bank deposits are perceived as a safe harbour. Interest rates for one-year deposits fell from 5.7% in March 2020 to 4.9% in September 2021. As inflation stayed elevated over 5%, depositors were hit by a double whammy — they paid more for less and earned negative real returns for their hard-earned savings.

Arguably, the buoyancy in the economy symbolised by rising tax collections should reflect in private consumption. However, that isn’t the case as data released as part of the national accounts for the first quarter of 2021–22 shows.

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