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Flight of Wealth-Holders, leaving India vulnerable

Imagine being wealthy, would you like to live in a country where even money can't buy hospital beds in the second wave of Covid-19? Would you like to live in a country where high pollution levels fill your lungs with tar? The answer to this is quite obvious, who would want to miss the opportunity of a better standard of living right? In the recent times, a large number of high-net-worth individuals of India have fled the country due to better opportunities abroad.

A lot of us may have wondered why some eminent personalities have given up their Indian citizenship to acquire foreign citizenship. High net worth individuals are not being less patriotic, the main reasons for them fleeing the country are the scarce opportunities, lower standard of living and higher tax liability.

High net worth people in India are of diverse nature, they belong to different social and financial backgrounds, they all are tied by their increasing interest residing overseas. Their interest of moving abroad is mainly driven by two reasons. One being entrepreneurs hoping to get more capital and investors for their businesses abroad and the other being the desire to pursue personal interests after monetizing their businesses.

The Capgemini Global Wealth Report 2020 estimates that there are 2.63 lakh such households in India. In 2020, Indian high net worth people were ranked first in moving out of their residence country to elsewhere. Let us talk about all the reasons why wealthy Indians are leaving India in detail. Why would someone hold onto a citizenship of lesser value when they are wealthy enough to acquire investment-based citizenships in countries like UK, Canada and Turkey.

The value of India’s passport is continuously decreasing. Between 2014 and 2021, Indian passport’s ranking fell from 76 to 90 on Henley’s Passport Index. People seeking citizenship abroad give up Indian citizenship since India does not offer dual citizenship. On top of all this, the Indian government has made the procedure of withdrawal of citizenship online which makes giving up on the citizenship much easier.

The next reason why wealthy individuals leave India is that there have been cases of institutional harassment by the income tax department of India which have taken place against anyone possessing wealth. India is ranked 100 at World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, which is why some businessmen move out of India to countries where their businesses have better future prospects for survival, growth and expansion. Then comes another category of wealthy Indians- The scammers, who fled the country after committing frauds and other offences. Last but not the least, it is not just about ease of doing business or visa free travel, Indians are leaving India because of the decreasing standard of living, poor infrastructure, healthcare and educational sector. India is overburdened with the weight of the population which is increasing at a really high rate.


Aadya, Gursimran, Amisha


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