Murthy joins debate on policy paralysis at Centre

Bangalore:  Software industry leader N R Narayana Murthy on Sunday appeared to have joined the debate on policy paralysis at the Centre when he said the government has not been able to provide clarity on definition of software exports for over a year now causing inconvenience to the industry.

"I have tremendous faith in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is an excellent minister and an excellent person. But it has been a year now since we requested clarification on the definition of software exports and for various reasons the officers have not been able to provide clarification," the Infosys founder and Chief Mentor said.

This situation is causing inconvenience to the software and services industry that has exports of over USD 70 billion, Murthy told reporters here.

"I hope that an extraordinary individual like Pranab Mukherjee will ensure that a quick clarification is provided on the definition of software exports," he said.

Last year, Parliament was informed that the Income Tax Department has slapped a demand of over Rs 450 crore on software giant Infosys Technologies for wrongfully claiming tax exemption on onshore services by declaring them as software exports.

Onshore software development is the practice wherein Indian companies send their software engineers on short assignments (3-6 months) to companies based in Europe, the US, and other nations.

Expressing shock over the killing of Karnataka official S P Mahantesh, said to be a whistle-blower in some controversial land allotments, Murthy said the first priority of the government should be to protect honest officers.

"I`m really shocked because the first priority of the government must be to protect honest officers. Unless our honest officers have confidence in the government, in the police system, in being able to execute their work properly, we will not get justice.

"Therefore, it is very very important that every central and state government takes care of protecting honest officers," he said.