Walmart bribe: BJP to corner UPA

The opposition BJP got more ammunition on Saturday to argue against FDI in retail ahead of the Parliament session with a fresh disturbing revelation that the world’s largest retailer Walmart has bribed officials in India and other countries.

Without getting into details, the US-based Walmart issued a statement saying that they are conducting an in-house inquiry into allegations of bribing officials of governments in India, China, Mexico and Brazil.

Walmart in March 2011 began a global review of its policies and practices to ascertain whether there are violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), US legislation that punishes bribing of government servants abroad.

Taking the issue seriously, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the party demands a probe into the allegations made by Walmart. “The BJP wants the government to reply to the nation on this issue,” he said.

The BJP is against FDI in retail and is gearing up with other opposition parties like the Left and the TMC to stall the execution of one of the reforms measures the UPA has moved to kick start an ailing economy.  

Hussain said the nation wants to know who has taken bribe from Walmart. “The nation wants to know what the government has to say on Walmart’s allegations. We will take this issue to the people,” he remarked. The BJP questioned whether FDI in retail sector was in the interests of the nation or brought to “fill the coffers of a few.”

The BJP leader said the government had been criticising the Comptroller and Auditor General, but has not come out with a reply over Walmart’s revelations. “This allegation is not from the opposition, but is from Walmart,” Hussain stated sarcastically.

The UPA government is neck deep in corruption as many scams are coming into the open, he added. The Enforcement Directorate is also probing Walmart for suspected Reserve Bank of India violations.

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