Walmart continues lobbying in US for India entry
Washington/New Delhi: Amid a probe being initiated into Walmart's US lobbying with regard to its India entry, the global retail giant has continued to lobby with the American lawmakers on this issue, as also others, and spent a total amount of $ 6.13 million on the same during 2012. As per the latest Congressional records of lobbying disclosure reports, the US-based Walmart Stores spent a total amount of $ 1.48 million (about Rs eight crore) on lobbying for various issues, including on "discussions related to FDI in India", during the last quarter ended December 31, 2012.
This has taken the total lobbying bill of the company for entire 2012 to $ 6.13 million (about Rs 33 crore), the lobbying disclosure records available with the US Senate show. Walmart has been lobbying with the US lawmakers on dozens of issues every quarter, whose disclosures it is mandatorily required to make under the American regulations. Recently, the Indian government initiated a probe into the lobbying activities by Walmart in the US for gaining access to Indian market, after disclosures about these activities caused a furore and a political debate in India.
The company has, however, maintained that these disclosures have nothing to do with political or governmental contacts with India government officials and they only show that Walmart's business interest in India was discussed with the US government officials along with many more other topics. Walmart has been waiting for years to open its supermarkets in India and it has been lobbying with the US lawmakers since at least 2008 to facilitate its entry into the highly lucrative Indian market.
Its total bill on these activities has now crossed $ 34 million (about Rs 180 crore) since 2008, which has been incurred on account of lobbying for more than 50 issues every quarter, including the issues related to "enhanced market access for investment in India".
Expressing serious concern over the ongoing protests in Andhra Pradesh, following the nod for the creation of a separate Telangana State, the Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja said that the Centre must address the genuine concerns of the people and assure them that their interests will be duly protected.
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