Retail giant Wal-Mart has been lobbying with the US lawmakers since 2008 to enter India. The lobbying disclosure reports filed by Wal-Mart with the US Senate reveal that it has spent $25 million (about Rs 125 crore) since 2008 on lobbying, including on the issues related to “enhanced market access for investment in India“. In the last quarter ended September 30, 2012 itself, the company spent $1.65 million (about Rs 10 crore) on various lobbying issues, which included “discussions related to FDI in India”. Wal-Mart, with an annual turnover of $444 billion and a global workforce of 22 lakh, has been eyeing India for long.
During the quarter, Wal-Mart lobbied for its case with the US Senate, the House of Representatives, the Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of State, the filings say.
The companies are allowed to lobby for their cases in various departments and agencies in the US, but they are required to file their lobbying disclosure reports every quarter with the US Senate. The Indian government recently opened up its multi-brand retail sector for foreign companies after parliamentary approval last week. The Indian retail market is estimated to be worth about $500 billion currently and is pegged to cross $1 trillion mark by 2020, given the rising personal income and growing consumer spending trends. According to AT Kearney, the organised retail is expected to reach 25 % of the overall market by 2020. Besides, India is one of the most favoured destinations for international retailers and an accelerated retail growth of 15-20 % is expected over the next five years.