Estimates of the Number of Very Rich in India

NCAER conducted the sole national survey of household incomes, savings and investments, in 1978. Such surveys in a country as big as India, with a part of household transactions taking place by barter and high incidence of tax evasion, create complications in generating reliable estimates of income and its distribution. This makes the questionnaire and the survey as well as the subsequent analysis, very difficult since incomes and expenditures have to be estimated from the physical assets in possession and the usage of different products and services. The sample required is also very large and becomes even larger when estimates are needed at the state and even lower levels. Perhaps, it is for this reason that NCAER has not been able to conduct another such survey, because of lack of sponsors. 

I. Natarajan
Sep 1995