Walmart case: Govt mulls defining lobbying activities

Nov 05 2013, 21:59 IST
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The government had constituted a one-man probe panel to look into Walmart's lobbying activities, after a political furore over the issue late last year. The government had constituted a one-man probe panel to look into Walmart's lobbying activities, after a political furore over the issue late last year.
SummaryThe government had constituted a one-man probe panel to look into Walmart's lobbying activities.

on about 50 specific issues, including those related to Indian market in the July-September quarter of 2013.

"Discussions regarding Foreign Direct Investment in India" is one of the ten-odd specific issues in the area of trade that were carried out by registered lobbyists on behalf of Walmart during third quarter of 2013, according to its latest Lobbying Disclosure Form submitted to the US Senate.

Overall, Walmart lobbyists discussed nearly 50 'specific issues' with the US lawmakers during the quarter, resulting into total expenses of USD 1.5 million relating to lobbying activities for the reporting period.

Walmart's lobbying activities covered the Senate, House of Representatives, Department of State, US Trade Representatives, US Agency for International Development and the Department of Labour, among others.

The world's largest retailer has been maintaining that it has made all the disclosures as per the prevailing regulations in the US and it has not violated any Indian laws.

Later in the evening, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot said that in his personal opinion there needs to be some framework to differentiate between legal and illegal activities.

His comment was in response to a query on whether the government is looking to define lobbying activities.

In my personal opinion, Pilot said "the best thing is to have some framework that we know about legality and illegality".

When asked about the probe panel report on Walmart's lobbying activities, the Minister said the Cabinet would take it up for discussion "soon".

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