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Bharti Walmart agents agitate for dues
Posted On: 20-09-2013 00:00:00 13

As per a report in Economic Times, a group of independent agents, who helped Bharti Walmart procure numerous licenses and whose services were severed in December, have threatened to take legal action against the retailer for not settling their dues. The consultants, including middlemen in government offices and small time legal firms from various cities congregated in Delhi on Wednesday and went to the Bharti Walmart office in Gurgaon demanding their outstanding dues running to roughly Rs 1 crore.

Earlier, the joint venture between Walmart Stores and Bharti Enterprises had severed ties with these license agents as part of an ongoing internal investigation of the US retailer to check if its India unit has flouted the US anti-bribery laws.

The agents alleged that both Bharti Walmart and its partner Bharti Retail had then promised to clear their outstanding dues within months and that they were still waiting for the release of their payments nine months later. On Wednesday, they met Bharti Walmart's senior director of anti-corruption Ritika Ratti and general counsel Susan Muigai. They were told that the company does not have all the required documents from the consultants.

Walmart last year launched internal investigations to check if there is any violation of US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that forbids American citizens and corporations from bribing officials in foreign lands to secure and operate businesses. An important aspect of FCPA compliance is due diligence of third party intermediaries that conduct business for the company. Some months earlier the Bharti Walmart top management, including CEO Raj Jain and CFO Pankaj Madan had put in their papers as news of likely FCPA violations leaked out.

 
 
 

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