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27 Indian companies hired lobbying firms in US, records show

27 Indian companies hired lobbying firms in US, records show

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Washington:

At a time when retailing giant Wal-Mart's disclosures on lobbying in the US are raising political temperatures in India, documents with the US House of Representatives reveal that over years around 27 Indian companies have spent thousands of dollars doing the same in the US.

The Indian companies involved in lobbying in the US for issues ranging from visa to exploring defence market include Reliance Industries, Tata Sons and Ranbaxy Labs. Besides, software body Nasscom and the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council have also been listed, among others.

Ranbaxy has paid $90,000 to lobbying firm Patton Boggs for issues including "Preserve Access to Affordable Generics", according to a document registered in 2010.

Tata Sons had roped in Cohen Group for lobbying, according to a document from 2007, related to issues described as "market research in the automotive, defence and energy sectors". No amount was mentioned in the document.

Reliance Industries became a client of lobbyist Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, according to a 2009 document, on the unspecified issue of "TRD", which could mean trade.

As per a 2010 document, Wipro spent $33,000 on lobbyist Melanie Carter-Maguire on issues relating to trade and visa. Wiro roped in a lobbyist firm this year too but no amount has been mentioned.

Global retail giant Wal-Mart - waiting for years to open its supermarkets in India - has been lobbying with US lawmakers since 2008 to facilitate its entry into the Indian market.

As per the lobbying disclosure reports filed by Wal-Mart with the US Senate, it has spent close to $25 million (about Rs 125 crore) since 2008 on its various lobbying activities, including on the issues related to "enhanced market access for investment in India".

Story first published on: December 12, 2012 20:11 (IST)

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