Buffet and Gates to urge Indian rich to donate wealth

Posted on August 7, 2010


Betwa Sharma New York, Aug 6 (PTI) Philanthropist billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet will approach rich people in India and China to urge them to donate at least half their wealth. The move is part of Gates-Buffet initiative, launched in June, that originally aimed at asking American billionaires to pledge that their wealth would be donated either during their lifetime or upon death. The two now plan to take the idea beyond the US borders. “Mr Buffett said he and Mr Gates in coming months will meet with wealthy individuals in China and India to talk about the pledge in the hopes of adding more names from outside the US,” The Wall Street Journal said.

On Wednesday, 34 people joined six billionaires, including Gates and Buffet, who have taken the pledge. They included New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Director George Lucas, David Rockefeller, and media mogul Ted Turner. US has 403 billionaires the most in the world, and New York tops the list within the country. The number two spot is taken by to China, which is followed by Russia. This year, the Forbes list of the richest people features two Indians in the top ten. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani is at the fourth spot with a networth of USD 29 billion, followed by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal who has a networth of USD 28.7 billion.

Although China has larger number of billionaires, ten of Asias top 25 rich are from Indian, while China has one. These include Ambani and Mittal in the top two positions, along with Azim Premji (USD 17 billion), Anil Ambani (USD 13.7 billion), Shashi and Ravi Ruia (USD 13 billion), Savitri Jindal (USD 12.2 billion), Kushal Pal Singh (USD 9 billion), Kumar Birla (USD 7.9 billion), Sunil Mittal (USD 7.8 billion) and Anil Agarwal (USD 6.4 billion dollars). Gates with a networth of USD 53 billion dollars is the second richest man in the world after Mexican telecom czar, Carlos Slim Helu who has a net worth of USD 53.5 billion. Buffet comes in third with 47 billion dollars and has pledged to donate 99 percent of his wealth. “In 2006, I made a commitment to gradually give all of my Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. I couldn”t be happier with that decision,” he wrote in a pledge letter.

Now, Bill and Melinda Gates and I are asking hundreds of rich Americans to pledge at least 50 per cent of their wealth to charity.” Bill and Melinda Gates have given more than $28 billion to their foundation since it was founded in 1994 that focuses on health and education. “We have committed the vast majority of our assets to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help stop preventable deaths such as these, and to tear down other barriers to health and education that prevent people from making the very most of their lives,” Gates wrote in his pledge.

Fri, Aug 6 02:53 PM (News from http://www.yahoo.com)