In the pandemic-hit financial year of 2020-21, the number of billionaires in India dropped from 141 in FY20 to 136 in FY21, as per a statement issued by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha. The count is based on the gross total income declared in the income tax returns. In FY 2018-19, the number of individuals with a gross total annual income of more than Rs 100 cr is 77.
As per the information available with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), there is no legislative or administrative definition of the term billionaire under direct taxes. Wealth tax has been abolished with effect from 01.04.2016 and, therefore, CBDT does not any more capture information about the complete wealth of an individual taxpayer.