Corona epidemic pushed 32 million Indians from middle class to lower class: report

New Delhi: A recent research has revealed that the Corona virus epidemic last year pushed about 32 million Indians out of the middle class and into the lower class.

A report prepared by the US-based Pew Research Center showed that the number of Indians in the middle class – who earn between Rs 724 and Rs 1,449 per day – has fallen to around 32 million. It was also learned that the high rate of poverty in India pushed millions of people into poverty.

Nearly a year into the epidemic, the strength of India’s middle class has shrunk to 6.6 crore, one-third below the pre-epidemic estimate of Rs 9.9 crore. Quoting economic growth forecasts by the World Bank, the Pew Research Center said, “India has seen a greater reduction in the middle class and a much higher increase in poverty than China in the Covid-19 recession.”

The report said that between 2011 and 2019, around 5.7 crore people joined the middle income group in India. In January 2020, the World Bank has projected roughly the same level of economic growth for India and China at 5.8 percent and 5.9 percent. However, the World Bank has revised its forecast in January 2021 – a 9.6 percent contraction for India and a 2 percent increase for China.

During the peak of the epidemic, India’s share in poor people also increased rapidly. The Pew Center estimated that the number of poor people – with an income of $ 2 or less per day – exceeded 7.5 million.

The research report also indicated that domestic fuel prices have increased by 10 percent this year, with job losses and wage cuts affecting millions of families in the country.

(With agency inputs)