According to a media report, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could face some transparency problems connected to his wife Akshata Murty’s Infosys shares, estimated to be worth 500 million pounds.
The Observer reports that the Labour Party and trade experts are skeptical of the entire financial impact because Akshata’s father, Narayana Murthy, co-founded Infosys, a software service major headquartered in Bengaluru.
As Sunak gets ready to visit India for the G20 Leaders’ Summit next month, the two countries’ FTA discussions enter their twelfth round of talks.
The Prime Minister has discovered the importance of accurately disclosing his financial interests. Labour MP and chair of the cross-party House of Commons Business and Trade Select Committee, Darren Jones, stated, “I expect him to do so with respect to the India trade deal as well.”
It was revealed earlier this week by the UK parliamentary watchdog that Sunak had accidentally failed to correctly declare his wife’s shareholding in childminding firm Koru Kids, which stood to benefit from the government’s budget policies. The British Indian commander, then 43 years old, apologized for the “inadvertent” breach that had occurred due to misunderstanding.
The Observer claims that Infosys, which has worked with the British government and other UK corporations, is seeking modifications to the visa policy in order to make it easier for its thousands of contract workers to enter the country.
It has been reported that one of India’s main demands in the negotiations is to be granted more visas for its workers in fields like information technology (IT) and artificial intelligence (AI).
The Business and Trade Select Committee is planning a trip to India in the coming months to investigate difficulties around a potential agreement, but the newspaper alleges that the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) has urged them not to go.
Committee chair Jones told the newspaper that the government recommended postponing the trip to India until next year, away from any potentially contentious trade negotiations.
Although his party supports a trade deal with India, Shadow Trade Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has stressed that it is crucial that Sunak be “transparent about any relevant business links and his personal role in negotiations.”
Since software services are one of India’s largest export sectors, the country will naturally search for possibilities to expand them in trade accords, according to Alan Manning, a professor of economics at the London School of Economics.
Reports indicate that New Delhi is exerting pressure on London to negotiate a social security agreement similar to others it has signed with countries like Canada, Australia, and France. Such an arrangement would allow Indian workers to avoid making social security contributions abroad so long as they continued to make payments in India.
We place a premium on the social security pact. The article cited an Indian official who said that confiscating people’s money would lead to widespread anger.
While in India for a G20 trade session this week, UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch met with her counterpart, Piyush Goyal, for bilateral talks, as reported. According to Goyal, they talked about methods to give the India-UK FTA negotiations a boost so that both countries can benefit.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate