25 million (about Rs 125 crore) since 2008 on its various lobbying activities, including on issues related to "enhanced market access for investment in India", created furor again.
The Opposition stalled Parliament for many days on the issue.
As per Wal-Mart's lobbying disclosure reports, the company has continuously lobbied for its India entry since 2008, except for a few quarters in 2009. The company, however, stressed that it did not pay bribes to anyone in India.
Another issue that created controversy was Wal-Mart's USD 100 million investment in Cedar Support Services, an arm of Bharti Ventures, when FDI in retail was not allowed here.
Now, the Enforcement Directorate is investigating the alleged violation of FDI regulations under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, by cash-and-carry chain Bharti Walmart – the equal joint venture between Wal-Mart and Bharti group.
Not only Indian authorities, Wal-Mart itself is probing allegations of corrupt practices against it in foreign markets, including India. In March this year, the firm started a worldwide review of its policies, practices and internal controls for US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance.
Following this, Bharti Walmart suspended five people, including Chief Financial Officer Pankaj Madan, as part of the global investigation. After this, the JV decided to put a halt on opening of new cash and carry wholesale stores in India pending the probe.
While Wal-Mart hit the headlines in multi-brand, it was IKEA that made news continuously in the single-brand segment.
The Swedish furniture announced plans to invest Rs 10,500 crore in India to open 25 stores over a period of time. It had proposed to invest 600 million euro (Rs 4,200 crore) to open 10 stores in the first stage.
The remaining 900 million euro (Rs 6,300 crore) for opening 15 more stores.
The Scandinavian retailer, however, wanted the government to relax the clause for mandatory sourcing of 30 per cent from MSMEs. After months of dialogue, the government relented and relaxed it for single brand segment.
The IKEA Group, which manufactures and sells home and office furnishing products, applied afresh after the norms were relaxed. In