India retains Podesta group for lobbying in US
Washington: The Indian Embassy in the United States has retained the Podesta Group, a Washington-based lobbying and public affairs firm, which is said to be having close ties with the Obama Administration and the ruling Democratic Party, for its lobbying efforts in the country.
The Podesta Group, which is said to be among the top lobbying firms in the US, has been retained for the six monthly contract of USD 350,000 (more than Rs 1.8 crores), according to its latest mandatory disclosure made by it to the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
"(Podesta Group's) PG's representation will encompass providing strategic counsel, tactical planning and public relations assistance on policy matters before the US Government, the US Congress, and select state governments, as well as academic institutions and think-tanks," says the latest six-monthly contract signed on January 17, 2013.
It was signed by Kimberley Fritts, CEO of the Podest Group and Nirupama Rao, the Indian Ambassador to the US.
The Podesta Group has been lobbying for India since 2011, as per the publicly available reports.
The Podesta Group among others also lobbies on behalf of Albania, Cyprus, Georgia, Japan, Korea and Kosovo.
According to the list of its activities disclosed by it to the Justice Department under FARA, the Podesta Group in the previous six months period lobbied before the US lawmakers, their staffers mostly by emails.
It received about Rs 30 lakhs from the Indian Embassy for its services every month.