Infosys reportedly pulling out of Russia after UK Fin Min Rishi Sunak caught in row
Infosys reportedly pulling out of Russia after UK Fin Min Rishi Sunak caught in row

Infosys reportedly pulling out of Russia after UK Fin Min Rishi Sunak caught in row

Rishi Sunak is the UK Chancellor of Exchequer and the son-in-law of Infosys founder and chairman emeritus Narayana Murthy.

Boxed into a corner over Rishi Sunak – the UK Chancellor of Exchequer and the son-in-law of Infosys founder and chairman emeritus Narayana Murthy – multiple media reports have indicated that Infosys will be pulling out of Russia.

Sunak came under attack from the British press and fellow parliamentarians after it was revealed that Sunak’s wife and Narayana Murthy’s daughter, Akshata Murthy, holds a £690m stake and collects about £11.5m in annual dividends from the company. 

The company’s exit move has come about as pressure mounted on Sunak to respond to accusations that his family is collecting ‘blood money’ dividends from Infosys’s operations in Russia.

The Chancellor of Exchequer plays the role of the chief finance minister in the UK. This role is often allotted to senior members of the cabinet, and the politician manning it is responsible for calibrating taxation and spending levels across the UK. 

Sunak, who since the beginning of the Russian offensive has been repeatedly calling on British companies to pull out of Russia to “inflict the maximum economic pain” on Putin’s regime was left “fumbling for words” in a recent TV news show appearance. Confronting Sunak with a razor-sharp question, Sky News anchor and journalist Jayne Secker said, “It has been reported that you have family links to Russia; that your wife apparently has a stake in the Indian IT consultancy firm Infosys. They operate in Moscow. They have an office there. They have a delivery office there. They have got a connection to the Alpha bank in Moscow. Are you giving advice to others that you are not following in your own home?”

A visibly uncomfortable Sunak could only muster an anaemic response of “I’m an elected politician and I’m here to talk to you about what I’m responsible for. My wife is not.”

The Daily Mail and other British publications have also unleashed a high-decibel broadside against Sunak, accusing him of hypocrisy. In late March, Sunak urged asset owners and managers to “think very carefully about any investments that would in any sense support Putin and his regime”.

Under attack from opposition leaders who cracked down on him for “making millions from a company operating out of the Russian capital”, Sunak said that it was “very upsetting and…wrong for people to try and come at my wife”.

Sunak also drew parallels between himself and Will Smith, who has been in the news for slapping comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“But I feel, on reflection, both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked – at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good,” Sunak said.

No business ties with local firms: Infosys

When asked about its reported move to close its Russia office, Infosys declined to comment.

Previously, in the last week of March. Infosys said that it does not have any business ties with local Russian firms.

In a company statement at that time, the IT company pointed out, “At this point, we do not foresee any impact on delivery or services for our clients from our Eastern European centres and have activated necessary business continuity protocols. Infosys has a small team of less than 100 employees based out of Russia. The company has committed $1 million towards relief efforts for the victims of war from Ukraine.”

This article was first published in The Wire and republished with permission. The link to the original article can be found here

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