RIL pauses on US lobbying; Govt spends Rs 3.7 cr in 2011-12
Corporate giant Reliance Industries Ltd has stopped lobbying with US lawmakers for the last two quarters, while the Indian government incurred an expense of Rs 3.7 crore for such activities during the last financial year ended March 31, 2012.
New Delhi: Corporate giant Reliance Industries Ltd has stopped lobbying with US lawmakers for the last two quarters, while the Indian government incurred an expense of Rs 3.7 crore for such activities during the last financial year ended March 31, 2012.
As per the lobbying disclosure reports filed with the US Senate, leading lobbyist Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR) did not indulge in any lobbying for its client, Mukesh Ambani-led RIL, during the two quarters from October 2011 to March 2012.
Prior to that, BGR had earned USD 3,60,000 (Rs 1.8 crore) for its lobbying activities with the US lawmakers on behalf of RIL during the first three quarters of 2011.
BGR has been lobbying for RIL in the US since 2009 on various issues related to trade. BGR had earned USD 760,000 (Rs 3.9 crore) for lobbying on RIL's behalf in 2010, and a similar amount in the year 2009, as per its lobbying disclosure reports.
BGR has also been lobbying with the US lawmakers on behalf of the Indian government since 2005.
Its lobbying disclosure report for the Indian government shows that it lobbied with the US House of Representatives, US Senate, US Trade Representative, the US Department of Commerce and the US Department of State during the quarter ended March 31, and earned an income of USD 180,000 for the same.
This has taken the Indian government's total bill for lobbying in the US during the fiscal ended March 31, 2012 to USD 720,000 (Rs 3.7 crore). Lobbying firm BGR earned USD 180,000 in each of the four quarters of the last fiscal.
During the fiscal ended March 31, 2011, the Indian government had spent little over USD 400,000 on lobbying activities in the US, while it was USD 700,000 during the fiscal ended March 31, 2010.
For the past few years, the Indian government has been lobbying in the US on issues related to "bilateral US-India relationship", while it has lobbied for the Indo-US nuclear agreement as well in the past, shows the lobbying disclosure reports filed by BGR.
RIL, the central government and software industry body Nasscom are among the major Indian entities carrying out lobbying activities in the US. Nasscom paid a total of USD 105,000 (over Rs 53 lakh) to two lobbyists (BGR and Lande Group) during the January-March 2012 quarter towards lobbying on immigration and visa issues, among others.
Lobbying is a legal activity in the US, but the companies and their lobbyists are required to inform the US Senate about such activities through a quarterly disclosure report detailing the issues, the concerned government departments and institutions, and the related expenses.