Wal-Mart probe by retired judge: Kamal Nath

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) A retired judge would hold the inquiry into reports on lobbying by Wal-Mart to open the way for foreign equity in retail trade in India, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath announced in the Lok Sabha Wednesday.

"I had assured the house on Tuesday. A retired judge would hold a time bound inquiry into the media reports related lobbying by international supermarket chain Wal-Mart in India," said Kamal Nath.

"The government has no hesitation," he said.

When some members wanted to know whether the person probing the issue would be a Supreme Court judge or a high court judge, the minister said he was open to suggestions.

"You can give your suggestions," he said.

The opposition has been demanding a transparent inquiry on reports that Wal-Mart had spent Rs.125 crore on lobbying activities in the US, including on issues related to enhanced market access for investment in India.

The government had Tuesday agreed to an inquiry.