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Essence: Reports about how old and new businesspeople amassed massive amounts of wealth in short periods of time have been prevalent in recent years, when the economy as a whole has performed poorly. Conspicuous consumption appears to be on the rise as well, which has resulted in rise of India's income and wealth inequality. It's difficult to get hard data on the extent of the growth because, one, of lack of formal surveys of income patterns in different income strata. Two, it is ineffective to use consumption surveys and treat consumption expenditure as a proxy for income. And, because evaluating household durable assets, such as bullion, which is a prominent form of wealth holding among the middle and upper classes, has proven challenging in recent rounds, they have been kept out of the poll. This leads to a significant underestimating of wealth holdings, particularly in the highest asset holding segments. All of this shows that these official data may not give enough solid evidence to allow accurate assessments of household wealth levels and trends.
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