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'Lobbying disclosure doesn't reflect improper conduct in India'

New Delhi, Dec 12, 2012 (PTI):

Bharti Walmart, the Indian arm of the US retail giant Walmart, today said the allegation that routine US lobbying disclosures reflects improper conduct on its part in India are false.

"This disclosure has nothing to do with political or governmental contacts with Indian Government officials," a Bharti Walmart Spokesperson said in a statement.

The disclosures to US regulators showed that company's business interests in India was discussed with American officials along with 50 or more other topics during a three month period, it added.

"The allegation that a routine U S lobbying disclosure reflects improper conduct on our part in India, is false, it said.

Under the US law, on a quarterly basis, all companies which meet certain time and expenses thresholds, are required to disclose issues and expenditure incurred in connection with contacts with the United States Government, including staffing cost, association dues, and payments to consultants, it said.

The company said all organisations which expend more than USD 11,500 annually on lobbying activities and employ at least one lobbyist must register and file the quarterly reports.

In the third quarter of 2012, lobbyists and companies filed thousands of forms, it said.

As per a Washington DC publication, Roll Call, in the first quarter of this year, 143 organisations reported expenses of more than USD 1 million, it added.

"Our Washington office naturally had discussions with US Government officials about a range of trade and investment issues that impact our businesses in the US and worldwide and disclosed this in accordance with the law," the company said.

Bharti Walmart Private Ltd is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Walmart, the world's leading retailer.


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