Indian embassy in US not availing services of lobbying firm

New Delhi (IANS) The government Tuesday clarified that the Indian embassy in Washington D.C. has “not been availing the services of the lobbying firm Patton Bogs for more than a year”.

The external affairs ministry’s statement follows uproar in parliament following reports that Wal-Mart had spent Rs.125 crore in the last four years to lobby with US lawmakers, and Indian MPs alleged that the firm had indulged in corruption to enter India.

Patton Boggs, one of the lobbying firms which represented Wal-Mart, had been hired by the Indian embassy in the US in 2008 to help clinch the India-US nuclear deal.

Opposition parties opposed to the entry of foreign retail giants in India allege Wal-Mart has used lobbying firms to push for India to go in for FDI in multi-brand retail.

To a question whether the Indian government had taken up the issue of the lobbying and bribing by Wal-Mart with the US government, the spokesperson said he was not aware if India has formally taken it up with the US government.

“And I do not know whether there has been any assurance provided on those grounds at all,” he said.