PMO declines to provide information on PM meetings with Wal-Mart lobbyists
An application was filed with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details of the lobbyists, advisers, officials and representatives of Wal-Mart who have met the Prime Minister or officials from the PMO since 2008.
In its reply to the application, the PMO declined to provide the requested information citing exemption clause under the transparency act. The reply states that the sought information regarding the Prime Minister’s meetings was exempt under Section 8 of the RTI Act. Regarding the meetings by the PMO officials, the reply said that the office doesn’t hold the records.
Though the cited section mentions at least eight sub-clauses for exemption of information from mandatory disclosure, the reply from the PMO doesn’t mention any reasons for denying the information.
As per media reports, Wal-Mart spent $6.13 million on lobbying for various issues, including on discussions related to foreign direct investment in India and it has been lobbying on India-related issues since at 2008. In this regard, the government has also set up an inquiry committee under former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court Mukul Mudgal.