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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Lobbying may be legalised, with a new tag — advocacy

Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 05, 2013
First Published: 20:49 IST(5/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:52 IST(5/7/2013)

Lobbying — that typically refers to the act undertaken to influence the government’s decision-making process — must be well defined under Indian law to remove ambiguities, Sachin Pilot, corporate affairs minister, has told HT.

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At present, lobbying is not allowed in India.

“We must define what lobbying is and chalk out a set of activities, which come under lobbying and another set which does not... and once we know that it is easy to handle the issue,” said Pilot. “Today we do not know what may come under lobbying and what may not.”

Several countries including the US, UK, France and Australia allow lobbying.

Recently, global retail giant Wal-Mart was charged with lobbying activities in India. An inquiry report has already been submitted to the government.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the external affairs ministry are currently preparing the “action taken report”, which, along with the inquiry report on the matter would be submitted in Parliament in the forthcoming monsoon session.

Wal-Mart has said that it has not violated Indian regulations and has disclosed all its lobbying activities according to the US rules. Legal experts said that no major step can be take against the retail major even if it indulged in lobbying activities in its home country to enter India.


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