• Monday, May 20, 2024

UK News

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File photo of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with his wife Akshata Murty during an event with veterans in north west London on April 12, 2024 in London. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

By: Shajil Kumar

PRIME Minister’s wife is due for a multimillion-pound payment as a dividend from her holding in Infosys, an IT services multinational co-founded by her father.

While announcing its annual financial results, Infosys said it would pay a regular dividend of 20 rupees per share, plus an additional eight rupee-per-share special dividend.

Akshata Murty owns a 0.94 per cent stake in Infosys and she is due to get close to £10.5 million. Last year she received £13.5 million.

She has faced scrutiny over the wealth generated from her stake in Infosys about taxes and investments.

Murty had earlier claimed non-dom status, which allows wealthy individuals to legally cut their tax bill by paying tax only on money they earn in the UK.

She subsequently declared in 2022 that she would pay UK tax on overseas income including dividends and capital gains.

Her move to invest the wealth generated from her stake in Infosys in British start-ups sparked controversy as some of these companies benefited from government schemes.

Last year, Murty decided to wind down Catamaran Ventures UK, a start-up investment firm she had set up with Sunak in 2013.

Some of the Catamaran-backed companies such as Study Hall, Mrs Wordsmith, New Craftsmen and Digme Fitness have been beneficiaries of government funds like Future Fund and Innovate UK.

The prime minister’s failure to properly declare his family’s financial interest in a business that stood to benefit from government policy has invited widespread criticism

Sunak later apologised for this “inadvertent” breach of parliamentary standards.

Infosys was set up in 1981 by a group of entrepreneurs that included Murty’s father NR Narayana Murthy. It is now the second-largest software services company in India.

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