27 Indian companies lobbied in US: Reports

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Washington, Dec 13: While the country witnessed a massive political uproar over retail giant Walmart's disclosure on lobbying to gain entry in India, records with the US House of Representatives claimed that 27 Indian companies have spent huge amount in the last few years on lobbying for issues including visa and exploring defence markets. The Indian companies include Reliance Industries, Ranbaxy Lab, Nasscom, Tata Sons and others.

It is learnt that Ranbaxy pais $90,000 to lobbying firm Patton Biggs for Preserve Access to Affordable Generics, a 2010 document said. Tata Sons, on the other hand, took help of Cohen Group for lobbying on issues like "market research in the automotive , defence and energy sectors", as per a 2007 document.

Reliance, on the other hand, became a client of Barbour, Griffith & Rogers on an issue called TRD, which could mean trade. This was revealed by a report published in 2009. Wipro spent $33,000 on lobbyist Melanie Carter-Maguire for trade and visa issues. It was said that the Indian firm also roped in a lobbyist firm this year as well although the amount spent by them was not revealed.

Walmart has been lobbying with US legislators since 2008 to gain entry in the Indian market. As per its lobbying disclosure reports filed with the US Senate, it had spent nearly $25 million on lobbying, including on issues like "enhanced market access for investment in India." The opposition parties in India recently created an uproar against the Walmart's lobbying, said bribes were being given to gain entry in the Indian market. The ruckus occurred after the principal opposition party, BJP, lost a vote on foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail that took place in the Indian parliament last week.

OneIndia News

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