The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was among the top international organisations paying for travel of American lawmakers between 2000 and 2005, but it had not registered as a lobbying firm in the US during this period, a report claimed on Tuesday.
In a report dealing with the business aspects of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, 'The Boston Globe' daily claimed that CII had spent over $1 million over last six years on "fact finding trips" to India for the lawmakers, their spouses and staffers as also on lobbying US Congress on the deal.
When contacted in New Delhi, CII Deputy Director General Jayant Bhuyan, said, "we are not a lobbying body and have not registered as such because we are an industry association.
"As part of our activities, we take elected Indian representatives to various countries and vice versa. We have got some Congressional representatives to India to participate in our conferences, meet industrial representatives, governments and NGOs as part of awareness programme. And we are doing it for a number of years," he said.
The Boston Globe report said "one of the quietest and most persistent efforts to influence Congress on India policy has come from the CII, which represents some of India's most profitable companies."
"The group was among the top international organisations paying for congressional travel between 2000 and 2005, even though they were not registered to lobby at the time, according to a review of congressional disclosure records conducted by the Centre for Public Integrity, a non-profit research organisation in Washington," it added.