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Walmart lobbying uproar

New Delhi, Dec. 10 (PTI) The disclosure that Walmart had spent about Rs 125 crore in the last four years to lobby US lawmakers has kicked up a political storm.

The BJP, Trinamul Congress, CPM, CPI, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), AGP and the AIADMK zeroed in on the figure to target the government over the retail FDI decision.

In a disclosure filed with the US Senate, Walmart has said it spent close to $25 million (about Rs 125 crore) since 2008 on lobbying, including on issues related to “enhanced market access for investment in India”.

The Opposition parties raised a furore in the Rajya Sabha, alleging that the US giant had indulged in corruption to enter India. The uproar led to three adjournments.

Told that lobbying is not illegal in the US, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said: “I know it is allowed in the US. But the laws of the two countries are different. Lobbying in the US does not mean corruption but in India, it does. That is the difference. There is illegality.”