Mar 26, 2011, 03.52 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

India's tax system doesn't encourage charity much: Gates

It's the last day of Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates' visit to India. In an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick, the trio spoke about what they made of the India visit, especially their meeting with the wealthiest people of India.

Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft

It's the last day of Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates' visit to India. The Gates' and Buffett held a dinner meeting in New Delhi with 70 business people, including Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and discussed a wide range of issues related to philanthropy.

In an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick, the trio spoke about what they made of the India visit, especially their meeting with the wealthiest people of India.

Below is a verbatim transcript. Also watch the accompanying video.

Q: What did you make of last night's event?


Buffett: It was really an extraordinary event. Much like both in China and in the United States, once people started talking here, they get very personal. They talk about their own activities, they talk about their family, they may talk about their businesses. It is remarkable to me that they would open up the way they do. We spent several hours hearing stories from people and they almost couldnt stand up fast enough after we got going. It was very interesting.

Q: I know this trip that the three of you have made was not to ask people to pledge but to really have exchange of ideas and what was the most interesting take you heard on philanthropy?

Melinda Gates:
One of the people who is doing a lot of philanthropy talked little bit about how he thinks about it from his corporate side of philanthropy where they were investing in education but they were doing it in an Urban setting, around where his corporation was.

But then he and his wife on the personal side, they wanted to give back in education but they were really doing in a rural setting and so to hear how they think about those two because in India right now, there is a lot of corporate social responsibility but what we are trying to stimulate is more individual philanthropic dollars going and so he really had a good model for that. I think that stimulated a lot of discussion in the room and that was particularly interesting to me.

Q: Rest of the thing that you heard, other places or kind of specific to India?

Melinda Gates:
They were talking about much more specific to India.

Q: When we were coming back from China, you mentioned that there were some specific challenges in China, particularly the lack of non -governmental organizations. Are there specific challenges that you noticed that are different to India?

Bill Gates:
The tax system here probably doesn't encourage philanthropy as much as it does in the United States. In all countries there is a certain shyness about talking about your giving and that holds things back. If you don't see other people sharing their success story, knowing you could partner with them then it makes other people more reluctant to get involved.

That's probably why a get together like we had is catalytic because people realize there are more people doing smart things than I have realized. They are having some of the same challenges I am having, I can go and collaborate with them. So I think it will change, I think people will want to be more open. But that's the difficulty.

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