Indian industry body CII on Saturday said its $ 750,000 contribution to sponsor a Clinton Foundation event to promote India Inc in the US could not be construed as 'conflict of interest' for Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton.
CII sponsored the Clinton Foundation event in September 2007 as a part of the Rs 23-crore "India@60" celebrations in New York.
While the Commerce Ministry paid Rs five crore of the total budget of Rs 23 crore, payment to the Clinton Foundation "cannot be linked to the government contribution", CII Finance Committee head Jamshed Godrej told PTI.
The decision to sponsor the Clinton Foundation event was taken by the CII Steering Committee, headed by former CII President and Bharti Group chief Sunil Bharti Mittal. "The event, attended by several American CEOs, was sponsored to promote brand India," Godrej said.
Several Indian industrialists and politicians have been named in the list of those who contributed to the Clinton Foundation, run by former US President and husband of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton.
The foundation is doing a lot of work in India as well and payments to it would not amount to 'conflict of interest' since both Mr and Mrs Clinton are separate legal entities, Godrej said.
"Mrs Clinton is going to represent the US Government and not the foundation run by Mr Clinton," he said.
Godrej said the CII works with several NGOs throughout the world on a variety of social issues.