Flipkart Ltd. signage is displayed outside the company’s headquarters in Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg)

Commerce Ministry Seeks Probe Into Walmart-Flipkart Deal

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion has referred a complaint of the RSS-affiliated SJM on the $16-billion Walmart-Flipkart deal to the Reserve Bank of India, the Enforcement Directorate, the Competition Commission of India and the Income Tax Department.

The Sangh’s economic offshoot Swadeshi Jagran Manch had alleged that U.S. retail giant Walmart Inc was “circumventing” rules for a “back-door entry” into India with its majority stake acquisition of Flipkart.

SJM's co-convener Ashwani Mahajan had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to ensure that interest of those at the bottom of the pyramid in retail and agriculture space was safeguarded.

The letter came the day Walmart acquired a 77 percent stake in Flipkart and a copy of it was dispatched to the Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu. A similar letter was also sent to the DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek. The department comes under the commerce ministry.

Also read: Walmart’s Flipkart Gambit: Growth Rebirth Or Costly Facelift?

Earlier, the SJM had said that this deal would further eliminate small and medium businesses, small shops, and the opportunity to create more jobs. Most of these small entrepreneurs were already battling for existence; the entry of Walmart will further create problems for them, the group said.

Mahajan also alleged that there was a series of violations of law in allowing the deal to happen.