LS adjourned for the day over Walmart report
The government has said that it has no hesitation in ordering a probe into the Walmart lobbying report.
New Delhi: 3:07 pm: The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day as the uproar over the Walmart lobbying report continued.
2:40 pm: The Lok Sabha was once again adjourned till 3 pm as the uproar over the Walmart lobbying report continued. RJD chief Lalu Prasad demanded a time-bound JPC probe into Walmart lobbying.
2:00 pm Lok Sabha reconvenes. The Opposition continues to target the UPA Government on Walmart lobbying report.
12:30 pm: The government seems to have relented to the Opposition's demand and says it has no hesitation in ordering a probe into the Walmart lobbying report. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, "Government is as much concerned as the House and has no hesitations in having a probe into this. We want to get to the facts of this matter."
He said he will announce the details of the probe in the House. "This is a matter of great concern for us. I will announce the details of the probe in the House. Whatever the details are will come out in inquiry report. It is a matter of concern for us as well as to who all got the benefit," Kamal Nath said.
12:15 pm Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm on Walmart report.
12:00 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha resume. Uproar over Walmart report continues. BJP MP Yashwant Sinha targets the UPA government over Walmart lobbying.
11:40 am: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 12 noon as the uproar over the Walmart report continued.
11:05 am: The Lok Sabha was adjourned after an uproar over the Walmart report as the Bharatiya Janata Party raised the issue and demanded an independent inquiry. There was an uproar in the Rajya Sabha, too, over the report, following which the Upper House was adjourned for half an hour. BJP had given notices for suspension of the Question Hour.
The party has been demanding an independent inquiry into this after reports of global retail giant Walmart lobbying US lawmakers to get into India. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha will raise the issue in the Lok Sabha.
On Monday, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had attacked the BJP, questioning as to why the party didn't raise it in the Lok Sabha. She charged the principal Opposition party of raising it in the Rajya sabha for blocking the quota in promotion bill.
BJP and the Left Front joined hands to collectively take on the government, demanding an inquiry into reports that Walmart had spent Rs 125 crore on lobbying with US lawmakers to facilitate its expansion into markets including India over the past four years. The BJP, in fact, compared it to the Bofors deal.
"It is an official confirmation that Walmart paid bribes. Lobbying is prohibited in India. Bribery is crime. People of the country want to know what action was taken against them. Who are the middlemen? This should be investigated. The Prime Minister himself should explain why he didn't initiate an enquiry," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The Congress pointed out that Walmart had only lobbied with US senators and not got in touch with Indian leaders. "The report tells that Walmart lobbied US senators to pass FDI in retail. It doesn't question any politician, administrative officer or institution of India," Congress leader Jagdambika Pal said.
Bharti Walmart had on Monday denied allegations that it spent money in India to gain market access here. "These allegations are entirely false. In accordance with US law, US companies are required to disclose the issues and expenditures associated with lobbying on a quarterly basis," a Bharti Walmart spokesperson said in a statement.