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Sunday, Dec 05, 2021
Outlook.com
lobbyists

Favourite Lobby Horses

Shadow warrior once, the lobbyist is a frontman today, working the government to get corporate leeway

Favourite Lobby Horses
Corbis (From Outlook, May 17)
Favourite Lobby Horses
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Lobbying Battlegrounds

  • Retail Pressure-building to further open up FDI in multi-brand retail and more commodities including foodgrain
  • Defence Domestic industry keen to acquire state-of-the-art technology is urging raising of FDI bar to 49 per cent
  • Mining  Lobbying to stall a new tax proposal even as environmental safeguards and rights of forest-dwellers ignored
  • Aviation National carrier struggles to survive as lobbyists ensure better health for private carriers and airport operators
  • Telecom The lobbyists’ den, there is influence in every sphere—from licences to spectrum allocation
  • Infrastructure Be it power generation or highway construction, policies being tweaked indiscriminately to suit corporates

***

The dinner party is, as always, the perfect setting for the pitch. The big industrialist quietly turns to a man-about-town: would he care to put in a word with the minister about changing the policy for FDI in multi-brand retail? What’s in it for us, asks the man-about-town, meaning the local industry. Pat comes the reply: there’s Rs 20 crore for you if the policy is changed. Later, when the man-about-town checks with the minister, he’s told that the policy change should happen anyway in a couple of months. “It’s going to happen anyway,” the man-about-town repeats to the industrialist. And then, gallantly, “Does money have to change hands too?”

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