Wal-Mart continues lobbying in US for India entry
Washington/New Delhi: Amid a probe being initiated into Wal-Mart'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 USD 6.13 million on the same during 2012.
As per the latest Congressional records of lobbying disclosure reports, the US-based Wal-Mart Stores spent a total amount of USD 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 USD 6.13 million (about Rs 33 crore), the lobbying disclosure records available with the US Senate show.
Wal-Mart 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 Wal-Mart 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 Wal-Mart's business interest in India was discussed with the US government officials along with many more other topics.
Wal-Mart 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 USD 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".