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Buffett, Gates will urge rich Indians to donate half their wealth

business Updated: Aug 06, 2010 23:04 IST

Philanthropist billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will approach rich people in India and China to urge them to donate at least half their wealth. The move is part of a Gates-Buffett initiative, launched in June 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

India's richest

Mukesh Ambani — $29 bn

Lakshmi Mittal — $28.7 bn

Azim Premji — $17 bn

Anil Ambani — $13.7 bn

Shashi & Ravi Ruia — $13 bn

Savitri Jindal — $12.2 bn

Kushal Pal Singh — $9 bn

KM Birla — $7.9 bn

Sunil Mittal — $7.8 bn

Anil Agarwal — $6.4 bn

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 reported.

On Wednesday, 34 people, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hollywood director George Lucas joined six billionaires, including Gates and Buffett, in the pledge.

The US has 403 billionaires — the most in the world, and New York tops the list within the country. China takes the second spot worldwide, followed by Russia.

This year, the Forbes list of the richest people features two Indians in the top-10. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani is at the fourth spot with a net worth of $29 billion, followed by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal who has a net worth of $28.7 billion.

While most Asian billionaires are Chinese, 10 of the 25 richest are from India with Ambani and Mittal at the top two places.

Gates with a networth of $53 billion is the second richest man in the world after Mexican telecom czar, Carlos Slim Helu who has a net worth of $53.5 billion.

Buffett comes in third with $47 billion and has pledged to donate 99 per cent 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.

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.