Vedanta boss pledges 75% of $3.5billion wealth

Agarwal family to donate money as charity in an event in London
London: Anil Agarwal, the billionaire controller of Vedanta Resources Plc, announced late on Thursday that he and his family had agreed to give 75 per cent of their wealth to charity.Mr Agarwal, a one-time scrap metal dealer from India, made the announcement at an event in London to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Vedanta’s listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Mr Agarwal said he would keep his stake in the mining company for now but might ultimately divest it. “What we earn must be returned for the greater good of society. Life is not only about wealth... We have decided we have to give back to society,” he said on the sidelines of the Vedanta event.
Forbes estimated that the 61-year-old Indian entrepreneur has a net worth of $3.5 billion.
Explaining the reason for his decision, Mr Agarwal said Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, discussed their philanthropic causes with him in Seattle last summer.“After that, I had a meeting with my family and we decided to donate 75 per cent of our wealth,” Mr Agarwal said. Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with a fortune valued at $84.7 billion, and US investor Warren Buffett, the world’s 3rd-richest person with $67.3 billion, have founded Giving Pledge programme, which seeks to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to give away half of their wealth to charity.
Among causes likely to attract support, Mr Agarwal said he wanted to create a world-class university in India.Other Indian industrialist-cum-philanthropists who have invested in higher education, are Wipro chairman Azim Premji and HCL founder Shiv Nadar.Tata Sons, the largest shareholder of India’s tea-to-software conglomerate Tata Group, runs a large number of trusts which fund several causes, including education and promoting science.
GMR Group founder G.M. Rao had pledged his 12.5 per cent entire personal stake for charity.The donation had created an endowment worth $340 million in favour of the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation for charitable activities.
( Source : agencies )
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