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Murthy on why bribing must be legal!

Last updated on: July 21, 2011 11:09 IST

Murthy on why bribing must be legal!

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Supporting a strong Lokpal, Infosys Technologies Chairman Emeritus N R Narayana Murthy said reduction in corruption leads to faster economic growth of a country and this could have been the case in India also if graft had been curbed.

"If we could have reduced the corruption in the country, we could have clocked a GDP growth of anywhere between 8.5 to 10 per cent," he said.

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Image: Murthy supports a strong Lokpal.

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Murthy on why bribing must be legal!

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"Combating corruption at this stage is very significant. For the first time in last 300 years India has received some recognition from the world, raising hopes that we could alleviate poverty," Narayana Murthy said.

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Image: Reuters.

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Murthy on why bribing must be legal!

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"Dr Kaushik Basu, a well-known economist and the current Chief Economic Adviser to the government of India, has proposed a law to make certain amount of bribe giving legal," the Infosys co-founder said.

"He is a very bright thinker so we must consider it (the idea). He believes that after a bribing act both the bribe giver and the bribe taker are guilty and therefore they consent to keep it a secret," Murthy said.

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Image: Kaushik Basu.

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"If bribe giving, and not bribe taking, is made legal then the bribe giver shall indeed cooperate with the authorities to expose the bribe taker," Murthy said.

"This is akin to bribe taker turning an approver under the current system and escaping punishment. This sounds to be an interesting idea and I think it should be implemented," Murthy said.

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Image: Narayana Murthy.

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Economists have explained and established that corruption is likely to reduce the GDP growth rate of a country by anywhere between 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent, Murthy said, while delivering the 32nd Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Lecture on 'Towards a Corruption Free India'.

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Image: Corruption is likely to reduce India's GDP growth rate.
Photographs: Reuters.
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"The double-digit growth that has eluded India could had been ours if we had combated corruption."

Washington-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity recently released a report that India has lost a staggering $462 billion in illicit financial flows abroad due to tax evasion, crime and corruption since Independence, Murthy said, quoting the report.

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Image: Reuters.

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Murthy on why bribing must be legal!

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On the future of software industry, Murthy said "Our software industry has emerged as a world leader and is expected to grow to $300 billion over the next ten years."

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Image: Infosys.

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"It means more global companies will be doing business with the Indian software industry. Therefore, we have to ensure they do not face corruption when they come to India."

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Image: Corruption kills growth.

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The corruption in country should be reduced to accelerate inclusive growth, Murthy said. He said there were two categories of corruption in India - wholesale and retail.

The 2G and Commonwealth Games-related scams are clear examples of wholesale corruption, which touches the life of the rich and affects corporations.

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Image: Wholesale corruption in India.

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On the other hand, retail corruption affects the common people who are involved in over the counter transactions with the government, he said.

Image: A protest against corruption.

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