Wealth elites and their accumulation dynamics: Hyderabad City Region

Prasad, Purendra
Rambarki, Raviteja
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Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS)
Majority of the wealth elites from Hyderabad city region emerged during the reform period (1995- 2014), benefiting from the neo-liberal policies, political patronage and nexus with caste and regional networks. In post-2014, while wealth accumulation is accounted for in terms of high growth in sectors such as IT, pharmaceuticals and real estate, our field accounts indicate that large-wealth creation also occurred through contracts in irrigation projects such as Kaleswaram, Polavaram, and privatisation of seaports and infrastructure projects. While the early structural transformation of wealthy elites from agro-based industrial economy to service sector was facilitated by agrarian surplus and land, now the structural shift within the service sector is more complex. The regional and sub-regional story of wealth formation indicates that it is not just the broader economic reforms that have brought about this change, but the structural shift from the political patronage of business to the business patronage of the political or political nexus with business. Taking into consideration the agrarian background of elites and subsequent emergence of professional classes on one hand, and diverse trajectories of business elites on the other, this paper tries to explain the current wealth-accumulation dynamics in Hyderabad City region through a political economy perspective.
Wealth Inequality, Hyderabad city region, Neo-liberal policies, Political patronage
Prasad, P and Rambarki, R. 2023. Wealth elites and their accumulation dynamics: Hyderabad City Region. Wealth Inequality Working Paper | Number 52