Government on Tuesday said Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is investigating alleged violation of foreign exchange regulation by cash and carry chain Bharti-Walmart.

“On the basis of a reference received from Reserve Bank of India, ED has taken appropriate action to investigate alleged contravention of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 by Bharti-Walmart,” Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Violation of foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations is covered under the penal provision of FEMA.

On a query whether the government would keep in abeyance the permission to Walmart-Bharti till all enquiries by various agencies are completed, Mr. Meena said “government has not received any proposal for FDI in multi-brand retailing.”

The government had permitted FDI up to 51 per cent in multi-brand retail last year.

In reply to another query, Mr. Meena said the government has taken note of information appearing in the media referring to the report of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

“On the basis of information appearing in the media, income tax authorities have started verification. Based on results of verification, appropriate action in accordance with law will follow,” he said.

The Minister said as per information appearing in the media referring to a report of ICIJ, as many as 612 Indian entities are reportedly related to offshore entities or transactions.

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