This Article is From Aug 31, 2012

Bureaucracy, policy inaction stemming growth: Narayana Murthy

New Delhi:

Infosys co-founder and chairman emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy has criticized the government’s slow decision making, saying the country’s progress has been hit by bureaucracy.

"I keep meeting corporate leaders globally. Earlier, if China was mentioned three times, India was mentioned once. Now, if China is mentioned 30 times, India is not even mentioned. That tells the story. We have cut our own legs off by our inaction and our policies,” he said in an interview with NDTV Profit on Thursday.

Mr. Murthy said quick decision-making is the need of the hour and “has nothing to do with Parliament, opposition, coalition or the global downturn”.

The Infosys co-founder referred to the problems of the IT sector, saying suggestions he had made to the government over a year ago had seen little action.

“I gave a list of suggestions to Pranab Mukherjee (the then finance minister) 14 months ago, met the Prime Minister twice, but nothing happened,” he said, adding, “(I) can’t understand when an IT industry contributes 25 per cent to exports, how its problems are not seen as urgent or how its problems are not solved by 5 pm this evening.”

The Prime Minister should urge bureaucrats and ministers to take quick decisions, "and there is a need to act like P.V. Narasimha Rao did in 1991" (when he took over as the country’s prime minister).

Mr. Murthy, who knows Mr Singh personally and has vouched for his honesty, said he is in the current situation because of “a set of circumstances”.

“I sympathize with him… that does not mean progress cannot take place with legislation,” he said.
On software exports, he said the government should ensure growth is not curtailed by unnecessary tax clauses.

“While we sympathize with the UPA government on issues that have immobilized it because of what has happened in Parliament, there are many areas that depend purely on how quickly bureaucrats can take decisions. The PM has appointed another committee. I don’t think you need more committees. While I have tremendous respect for Mr. Singh, we must create an urgency in our bureaucratic decision-making.”