New Delhi:  The government has no hesitation in holding an inquiry on reports of Walmart lobbying in the US to open the way for foreign equity in retail trade in India, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told the Parliament on Tuesday.

Amid ruckus in both houses of Parliament with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding an explanation from the government on the issue, Kamal Nath assured members that the government was "concerned over the issue".

"We have no hesitation in having an inquiry in this and money spent in India. We are open for a discussion and this is matter of concern for the government," he told both houses of Parliament.

"We want to get to the facts of the matter. I would during course of the day make further announcements towards this," he added.

Govt may make statement in LS

Meanwhile, the government is planning to make a statement in the Parliament on Tuesday.

According to sources, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma may make a statement in the Lok Sabha later in the day.

Reports of Wal-Mart engaging lobbying firms to get entry into India and demand for quota in promotion in government jobs rocked the Parliament leading to washout of Question Hour in both Houses

In the Lok Sabha, as soon as Speaker Meira Kumar took up the Question Hour, members of BSP, Left parties and Trinamool Congress trooped into the Well raising slogans demanding inquiry into reports of lobbying by Wal-Mart and status of probe in the coal block allocation.

BJP members were on their feet demanding that the Speaker suspend Question Hour and ask the government to reply on the lobbying issue.

BSP members were in the Well raising slogans claiming that the government was trying to brush under the carpet the alleged scam in allocation of coal block.

The uproar continued even as the Speaker made repeated appeals for allowing the Question Hour to continue. Her assurances of allowing members to raise the issues during Question Hour also failed to cut any ice with the agitating members.

As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon first and then till 2 pm.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP members were up on their feet soon after Chairman Hamid Ansari made an obituary reference to former member G Swaminathan.

Within minutes, BJP members raised the issue of reported lobbying by Wal-Mart and SP members were objecting to the proposed move to provide reservations to SC/ST in promotion in government jobs.

When repeated efforts failed, Ansari said a situation has arisen where "the chair has to watch helplessly" frequent disruption of Question Hour.
He said he proposed to call meeting of the Rules Committee and suggest shifting the Question Hour or dispense with it all together.

Ansari then adjourned the House for 30 minutes. When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed and the Chair adjourned it till noon.

Congress hits back at BJP

Hitting back at the BJP, the Congress said that the Opposition must prove its bribery charges against Walmart and should allow the Houses to function smoothly.

“The BJP must prove its charges against the Walmart issue and should not stall the proceedings,” Union Minister Manish Tewari told reporters outside the Parliament House.

No breach of law in Walmart lobbying: US

Meanwhile, the US defended its lobbying report and said that the global retail giant did not violate any American law as far as the matter is concerned.


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