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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Walmart halts India-specific lobbying activities in US

PTI  Washington/New Delhi, July 28, 2013
First Published: 23:28 IST(28/7/2013) | Last Updated: 23:31 IST(28/7/2013)

Global retail giant Walmart has stopped lobbying with US lawmakers on India-specific issues, after continuously seeking their support for about five years, to facilitate its entry into the Indian market.

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The disclosure incidentally comes at a time when the government is preparing a report based on findings of a probe into Walmart's US lobbying activities for its India foray.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing alleged violations of foreign exchange laws by Walmart in its investment in Bharti Ventures' arm Cedar Support Services, has asked the RBI for fresh clarifications regarding the recently-notified FDI rules.

The ED has approached the RBI to seek "clarity" on foreign direct investment rules before and during 2010 in the multi-brand retail sector, before it takes a final decision to impose or defer penal action against the retail giant and its Indian partner, a revenue department source said.

According to latest lobbying disclosure reports filed by Walmart and its registered lobbyists with the US Senate and the House of Representatives, the company spent close to $2 million (around Rs. 12 crore) on various lobbying activities during the second quarter ended June 30. However, no India-specific matter figures among close to three dozen issues discussed by Walmart and its lobbyists with the lawmakers in the US during this period.


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