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Walmart continues US lobbying on ‘FDI in India’

Washington: Walmart continued to lobby with the American lawmakers over Indian retail FDI rules during the first quarter of 2013, even as a probe is underway into the global retail giant's US lobbying activities for facilitating its India entry.

In its latest lobbying disclosure report filed with the US Senate and the House of Representatives for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, the various lobbying issues of Walmart during the period included "discussions related to FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in India".

During the quarter, Walmart lobbied on close to 50 issues before various government departments and agencies and spent a total amount of USD 1.84 million on these activities, shows the 17 page lobbying report filed on April 22, 2013.

The other lobbying issues were related to overseas investments, tax-related matters, cybersecurity, data security and privacy issues related to e-commerce, immigration reforms, "discussions regarding retail sales practices, compliance, and background check process related to firearms transactions", and issues related to domestic sourcing and manufacturing.

Despite an intense political opposition, India last year approved 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, paving way for Walmart and other global retailers to set shop in India.

However, many global companies are still concerned over various clauses in the regulations, which include certain amount of sourcing being made mandatory from within the country. Besides, the state government and union territories have been allowed to take their own decisions on whether or not to allow FDI in their respective areas. .

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