A few people earn a monumental amount of money in India.
Nearly 5.6 million people in the country reportedly earn over Rs10 lakh ($14,043) annually, according to 2018-19 income tax data from the ministry of finance. Of these, fewer than 100,000 earn over Rs1 crore.
The numbers get more and more microscopic as you climb up the ladder. Only 77 make over Rs100 crore. And a mere three people made Rs500 crore—$70 million—in the year. By comparison, 205 Americans made over $50 million last year. Then again, the discrepancy is hardly surprising considering that the US’s per capita income of $62,641 is over 30 times higher than India’s $2,016.
Surprisingly, India’s richest man is likely not in the top band. Business magnate Mukesh Ambani, chairman, managing director, and the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries (RIL), has capped his annual remuneration at Rs15 crore for 11 years now.
The national cricket team captain and India’s highest-paid sportsperson, Virat Kohli, earned $25 million, which is still under Rs200 crore. Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar came close to breaching the threshold at $65 million, or Rs462 crore.
But then, who are the people earning upwards of Rs500 crore? That remains a mystery.
Meanwhile, despite a handful of people earning exorbitant amounts, a majority of the people—over 14 million of them—filed tax returns in the Rs2.5 lakh to Rs3 lakh income bracket.