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Mar 22, 2013, 06.04 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

India wants Walmart to reply on lobbying charges by April 9

The government appointed Wal-Mart probe committee expects the US-based retail giant Wal-Mart to submit replies of further queries on the alleged lobbying charges by April 9.

The government appointed Wal-Mart probe committee expects the US-based retail giant Wal-Mart to submit replies of further queries on the alleged lobbying charges by April 9, reports Malvika Jain quoting government sources.

Walmart's Asia Chief Executive Officer Scott Price today deposed before the probe committee, which is looking into possible irregularities in Wal-Mart's US lobbying activities for entering the Indian market.

Scott Price made two-hour long presentation before the probe committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal. The committee has raised some additional questions on the presentation made by Price and expects the multinational retailer to submit written replies to these queries by April 9.

The government had announced probe in December into the lobbying activities by Wal-Mart in the US for gaining access to Indian market, after opposition uproar over media reports on disclosures of Wal-Mart. The retailer had disclosed that it had spent USD 25 million on lobbying US lawmakers over the past four years, including on issues related to 'enhanced market access for investment in India.'

Post the disclosure, Wal-Mart was allegedly accused of bribing Indian officials for making inroads into the country. However Wal-Mart has continued to deny any allegations of bribing Indian politicians for its smooth entry in the country.

"We are cooperating with the Indian government and the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee," Wal-Mart told CNBC-TV18 in a statement.

"These disclosures have nothing to do with political or governmental contacts with India government officials.  It shows that our business interest in India was discussed with U.S. Government officials ---along with 50 or more other topics during a three-month period," Wal-Mart added in its defense.  

The retailer further said that it was committed to the Indian market and remained excited about the opportunity to grow its business in one of the world’s most vibrant economies. “We value the relationship we have with customers in India and are committed to doing things the right way, every day,” the retailer said in a statement.

READ MORE ON  Wal-Mart, lobbying charges, FDI

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