Cabinet to soon take up Mudgal probe report on Walmart

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 5 2013, 05:02am hrs
The Cabinet is expected to soon discuss the findings of Mudgal panel which probed allegations of lobbying activities by Walmart to enter the Indian market, as well as the pursuant Action Taken Report.

Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot said the Cabinet could not deliberate in detail the panel findings and the ATR yesterday.

"Because we could not take it up in detail and we had a very short discussion on the report and the Action Taken Report, so it will be taken up for consideration when we (Cabinet) meet next time," Pilot said today.

The one-man panel, headed by former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Mukul Mudgal, that probed Walmart's lobbying activities to enter the Indian market, had submitted its report to the Corporate Affairs Ministry in May.

The ministry has prepared the ATR on the panel findings after taking inputs from other Ministries including External Affairs.

According to the minister the Cabinet had a very limited discussion yesterday on the panel report because of other important decisions including on Telangana.

"...we will finish that discussion as soon as possible," he told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event here.

The Mudgal panel was set up in January this year after the government informed Parliament that it would probe the issue of Walmart having lobbied hard before the US lawmakers for access to lucrative Indian retail market.

Sources had said the inquiry remained inconclusive and that the panel was not satisfied with the replies provided by the American retail giant Walmart on various issues, including on the exact amount spent on its India-specific lobbying activities.

Walmart, on its part, maintains that it has disclosed all its lobbying activities as per the US rules and it did not violate any Indian regulations in this regard.