India’s wealthiest barely hurt by cash clampdown
India’s clampdown on cash lost the economy a few billionaires last year though the richest hardly saw their fortunes hit.
India dropped one spot to No. 4 on the Hurun Global Rich List as the nation lost 11 billionaires last year while the world added 69. However, the 18 Indians among the top 500 billionaires saw their wealth drop just 1.5 per cent, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“The world today has 5,000 dollar billionaires, assuming that for every one we have found we have missed at least one,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher at Shanghaibased Hurun Report Inc.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows that the 18 Indians among the world’s 500 richest billionaires had a combined fortune of about US$149 billion (RM663.28 billion) at the end of last year, down only slightly from US$151 billion in 2015.
The pack is led by Mukesh Ambani, whose net worth has risen by US$4.5 billion this year after a US$1.1 billion increase last year.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to reduce reliance on cash may go awry.
Digital transactions are dropping before Monday’s deadline to lift all lingering caps on cash withdrawals, central bank data show.
“As remonetisation is pickingup, transactions in digital economy are falling; suggesting that cash remains the king, at least so far,” said analysts at Edelweiss Securities Ltd in a March 9 report.
Mukesh Ambani lead the pack whose net worth has risen by US$4.5 billion this year.