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Hard to establish if Walmart bribed officials: Panel

Walmart has committed offence in India,the matter would be investigated.

Written by Shruti Srivastava | New Delhi |
December 18, 2013 1:19:27 am

The one-man inquiry committee,set up to probe into the alleged lobbying by Walmart for entry into India,has found it impossible to conclude that the US retail major indulged in any such activities or bribed Indian officials,due to lack of evidence.

The committee,headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal,has however,recommended that as and when disclosure details are sought by the US Congress members under the US Lobbying Act or any other investigation under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,and it reveals that offence has been committed in India under its laws,the matter would be further investigated.

The recommendation was made in the report tabled by the panel in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday along with the action taken report. The report is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

“The MEA through its embassy of India in Washington is continuously monitoring developments in the matter so that appropriate action could be initiated as and when relevant information becomes available at a future date or the results of any ongoing investigation under USFCPA reveals commission of any offence under the Indian law,” the report said.

Enforcement directorate is already conducting investigation into the issue of FDI through automatic route by Walmart in Cedar Support Services Ltd involving alleged violations of forex laws,said the report.

In December last year,the Opposition had sought inquiry into Walmart in wake of the lobbying disclosure reports filed by the US-based retailer with the US Senate. The company had disclosed that it has spent close to $25 million since 2008 on its various lobbying activities,including on the issues related to “enhanced market access for investment in India”. According to the disclosure,the company has continuously lobbied for its India entry since 2008,except for a few quarters in 2009.

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