The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Monday after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led opposition drew attention to a lobbying disclosure report filed by Walmart that revealed it had spent a massive $25 million lobbying to get entrance into India.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, who raised the issue in the upper house, said the reports were a serious matter at a time when FDI in retail was cleared in both houses of Parliament.
"At a time when floor management in the House to get FDI in retail passed is being talked about, reports of Walmart mentioning expenditure of Rs125 crores for lobbying to enter into the lucrative Indian market are a serious matter. The decision should be put on hold, inquiry should be ordered and the government should respond," he said.
Walmart has been lobbying with the US lawmakers since 2008 to facilitate its entry into the highly lucrative Indian market.
As per the lobbying disclosure reports filed by Walmart with the US Senate, the company has spent close to $25 million (about Rs125 crore) since 2008 on its various lobbying activities, including on the issues related to "enhanced market access for investment in India".
In the last quarter ended September 30, 2012 itself, the company spent $1.65 million (about Rs 10 crore) on various lobbying issues, which included "discussions related to FDI in India". During the quarter, Walmart lobbied for its case with the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the US Trade.