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Indian graft scene worries Walmart

The US-based Walmart Stores has said that it is tightening anti-corruption practices in India, amidst reports of US lawmakers asking the retail giant to review its operations in the country along with those in four other nations.

'[The anti-corruption measures are] part of the previously announced worldwide review of our anti-corruption programme that we initiated in March of 2011 including the global review that the company is conducting of its policies, practices, and controls for FCPA compliance,' a Bharti Walmart spokesperson said in a statement.

Bharti Walmart is a 50:50 joint venture between Walmart Stores Inc and Bharti Enterprises that operates wholesale stores in India.

The spokesperson further said the initiative includes developing and implementing recommendations for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act training, anti-corruption safeguards, and internal controls. This US act bars bribes to officials of foreign governments.

According to the Wall Street Journal, lawyers hired by Walmart to evaluate its anti-corruption policies have recommended adding India and South Africa to a review that includes Mexico, Brazil and China, citing a letter to the company from congressional Democrats.
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