Walmart hasn’t given requisite documents: Mudgal panel

Walmart has not provided the US Congress the documents required to inquire into allegations.

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi | Published:October 4, 2013 3:22 am

The one-man inquiry panel on Walmart’s lobbying activities in India has told the government that it cannot conclude allegations of bribery as the US company did not furnish the required documents.

In its report Justice Mukul Mudgal told the ministry of corporate affairs that Walmart did not furnish the details of wages and other benefits extended to external advisers hired by its parent company. Instead the consultants hired by Walmart USA do not lobby for the firm,it told Justice Mudgal. “The details of lobbying expenses and their break-up has not been given either to the committee or to the US Congress on the premise of such information being closely held proprietary information,” the report said. The report said Walmart has not provided the US Congress the documents required to inquire into allegations that it has violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. With regard to the role of Cedar Support services,in which Walmart holds a stake,there have been ambiguities in the replies given to the committee by Bharti-Walmart.

“The Committee argued that in absence of investigative or summoning power,it wasn’t possible to conclude whether Walmart indulged in lobbying or bribing of Indian officials,” a top ministry official said.

Mudgal report not taken up

The Cabinet on Thursday not take up the report of Justice Mukul Mudgal panel that looked into alleged lobbying activities by Walmart for entering the Indian market,a senior official said. PTI

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