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Walmart tightens anti-corruption practices in India

New York/New Delhi: US-based Walmart Stores Inc today said it is tightening anti-corruption practices in India, amidst reports of US lawmakers asking the retail giant to review its operations in the country along with those in four other nations.

"This (anti-corruption measures) is part of the previously announced worldwide review of our anti-corruption programme that we initiated in March of 2011 including the global review that the company is conducting of its policies, practices, and controls for FCPA compliance," a Bharti Walmart spokesperson said in a statement.

Bharti Walmart is a 50:50 joint venture between Walmart Stores Inc and Bharti Enterprises that operates wholesale stores in India. The spokesperson further said the inititive includes developing and implementing recommendations for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) training, anti-corruption safeguards, and internal controls. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US bars bribes to officials of foreign governments.

According to the Wall Street Journal, lawyers hired by Walmart Stores Inc. to evaluate its anti-corruption policies have recommended adding India and South Africa to a review that includes Mexico, Brazil and China, citing a letter to the company from congressional Democrats.

According to the letter quoted by WSJ, from Representatives Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman, both Democrats, Wal-Mart asked its lawyers to expand the review to a worldwide assessment of the company`s anti-corruption policies. As per the report, Walmart is internally investigating bribery allegations involving its Mexican operations, and that it is conducting a global review of its anti-corruption compliance program, but has not provided details about the review, as per reports.

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