Walmart CEO Scot Price appears before Justice Mukul Mudgal committee.
Filed Under: Politics, US | Posted: 03/24/2013 at 6:09AM
Comments | Region: India
On Friday, Wal-Mart CEO Scott Price and Bharati Wal-Mart CEO Jain appeared before a retired judge Mukul Mudgal appointed by the government of India last month following a complaint to the Prime Minister by M.P. Achuthan, a lawmaker to investigate accusations that the lobbying activities of retail giant has infringed local laws. The opposition parties in India reason to compare a U.S.mandated report of lobbying by the Wal-Mart in Washington with the buying off of Indian officials.
A statement issued by the government read that many questions were raised in the course of meeting and date for next proceedings shall be decided after getting reply from Wal-Mart. Lured by India`s $500 billion market operations per year in unorganised retail sector Walmart and other major global companies like Tesco are seeking to paved their way to enter largest retail market of the country.
India lifted embargo moderately in September 2012 on FDI permitting foreign retailers to retain only 51 % shares in the local supermarkets.
In the same month Wal-Mart declared its plan to open its first retail stores in India within two years; but It has not till now sought formal permission from Indian government to set up stores here.In the month of Feb it stated that first they will understand the investment rules of the country.
Wal-Mart had released that it paid $25 million over the past four years on lobbying with U.S. lawmakers including “enhanced market access for investment in India." Wal-Mart has repeatedly clarified that it was not a bribery report, but a legal requirement to give details of lobbying activities.
The spokesperson of this retail giant clarified that all companies which cross certain time and expense on such activities are required under US law to release the details incorporating their staffing cost and disbursements to consultants. She added that such revelations have nothing to do with political or administrative links with the officials of government of India and the company has adhered to all procedures of India’s FDI laws .
There is another pending investigation against Wal-Mart in India over the charges that it breached the country’s laws by indirectly investing in an Indian retail chain Bharti Walmart Pvt. Ltd., in 2010 when foreign investment in that sector was banned under local rules.
Wal-Mart spokesperson has reiterated that Wal-Mart is committed to the of the world’s most vibrant Indian market and are thrilled to create openings for Indian farmers and increase the living standards of people here..