rules on retail investment.
Cedar's cash flow statement for 2010 shows that the funds raised from the debentures were used to finance activities and an attached schedule to the balance sheet shows a transfer of 1.75 billion rupees ($32 million) to its retail unit, raising
questions over whether Wal-Mart's money went into the retail business.
M.P. Achuthan, a communist member of India's parliament, has accused Wal-Mart of breaking the foreign direct investment law and said he wanted the company to be penalised. Achuthan also wants India to scrap its foreign retail investment policy.
"I am surprised and shocked that the government didn't see this. This kind of an investment could not have happened without the government's knowledge," Achuthan said. "It is impossible." Wal-Mart's Indian partner, Bharti Enterprises, said it had followed
We are in complete compliance of all regulations. All details have been shared with the relevant authorities," a Bharti Enterprises spokesman said.
Two senior government officials said there had been an initial round of communication between the Reserve Bank of India and the Enforcement Directorate. The RBI, India's central bank, asked the law enforcement agency to conduct the investigation. "RBI believes there is a need to investigate," said a senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because
of the sensitivity of the matter. He said both Wal-Mart and Bharti were being investigated because "Wal-Mart allegedly made the investment and Bharti allegedly received it". Separately, Wal-Mart said last month it was looking into
bribery allegations in several countries including India, Brazil and China. It conducted an earlier probe in Mexico.
DEBT OR EQUITY?
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is under intense pressure to roll back the decision to permit foreign retailers. Parliament ground to a halt on Nov. 22 over opposition to the reforms until the government agreed to a vote, set for Wednesday.
A year ago, political pressure forced the government to make a U-turn after it first approved foreign investment into supermarkets, an abrupt shift that brought into question India's ability to build consensus behind long-awaited reforms.
When Wal-Mart made the investment in Cedar in 2010, Indian law permitted foreigners to own "cash-and-carry" wholesale stores,