WalMart’s disclosure before the U.S. Senate that it has spent Rs. 125 crore in the past four years to acquire legal rights to enter the Indian market (Dec. 11) is startling. An impartial enquiry should be ordered into the issue. Ideally, a referendum should be held to elicit public opinion on allowing FDI in retail trade.
Arulur N. Balasubramanian,
In our nation, lobbying is illegal. If WalMart has really spent the money, it cannot be on anything other than bribes. We have come across many instances of bribing and no credible outcome has emerged despite many enquiries, JPC and so on. The WalMart disclosure is just an addition to the list.
From media reports on WalMart’s disclosure, it appears the UPA government was under pressure to open up the retail market to FDI, ignoring more important national issues. One wonders why the Prime Minister, who was slow to react even to scams and scandals in his government, was so keen on the move.
When Enron was trying to enter India, it spent millions of dollars on “educating India.” All this is nothing but euphemism for bribes paid to decision-makers. Lobbying is prohibited in India. Therefore, what WalMart did here was illegal.
D. Himachal Rao,
The Opposition should use any information on the disclosures by WalMart sensibly. Blowing the matter out of proportion just to get political mileage may land itself in embarrassment later. The government, on the other hand, should ask for an inquiry outright, rather than engage in a battle of words with the Opposition.