'Lack of evidence closed probe into Walmart lobbying case'

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New Delhi, May 19: Lack of evidence has forced a closure in the investigation of whether Walmart had bribed officials to gain wider access in the Indian market, a report said on Saturday.

The single-member committee of former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, which was probing the matter in the last few months, said there was not enough evidence to prove that Walmart was involved in any unlawful activity in the country, the report said.

The details of the report that the committee submitted to Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot on Saturday was known.

It was, however, said that the report might not say that the US retail giant did not bribe any Indian official or flout Indian rules to get access to the market here but it is likely that there was not enough adequate to suggest that it had engaged in any unlawful activity.

The cabinet had cleared up to 52 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in September last year amid massive protest from the opposition.

The Mudgal Committee was set up in January to probe whether the retail giant had flouted any law to get an access in the Indian market and other related issues.

The Centre had assured the Parliament last December to get the matter probed after reports alleged that the Walmart lobbied among the lawmakers in the USA to gain an entry into the Indian market since 2008.

Walmart is yet to make a proposal to the government for opening retail stores in India. It has been running a 50-50 joint venture with Bharti since 2009, operating 20 stores in the cash-and-carry segment. It is a sector where 100 per cent FDI is permitted.

OneIndia News

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