There are no regulations on lobbying in India, so far, but it is not illegal either. Lobbying is a well-established industry though it operates in a largely opaque environment. There have been demands from the lobbying industry and also outsiders to spell out clear laws determining dos and don'ts for the pratitioners, but it has not happened thus far. Industry bodies such as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the National Association of Software and Services Companies are among the top lobbying groups. However, the FICCI maintains that it is not a lobby group and is only working as an influence to engage with the government on policy issues. The CII also maintains a similar stand on the issue arguing that they are not lobbyists but advocates, helping build policy framework and performing advocacy work. The Indian Planning Commission has set up an expert group to look into the processes that comprise lobbying, considering various interests of all the stakeholders involved. This expert group comprises industries and government secretaries. There is an ongoing dialogue with the industry associations for their views. The objective is to make lobbying transparent and representative, and for this the expert group is looking at best benchmarks in the process of lobbying in other countries. However, this is a very large issue and the final solution is far down the road. In the meantime, according to Dilip Cherian, one of the foremost lobbyist practitioner in India "dealing with the Indian government is like walking in shifting sands". He goes on further in explaining that "policy in India is determined by political exigencies which can change from day to day, and from month to month". Coalition politics Delip Cherian says with its continous push and pull results in changing policies and there is also a great deal of government interference in spite of all the talk about liberalisation. Determining what will work involves a rather quirky mixture of enormous expertise and experience, phenomenal efforts and a puzzling element, what is called tukke bazi in India, which translates best to mean taking a gamble". States, religion and caste do play an important role in politics in India and certainly can be used to influence policy, but again quoting Dilip Cherian "this is more in terms of policy makers wanting to please specific groups in order to garner their votes what is called vote-bank politics, however, according to Delip Cherian 'tradition per se is weakening and is no longer a deciding factor in modern India, either politically, commercially or socially. What is perhaps the most thought provoking view expressed by Dilip Cherian is that "lobbying has gone global and lobbyists cannot act in isolation any longer when their clients' interests are rapidly expanding internationally". Just like Dilip Cherian, AALEP strongly believes that India and EU lobbyists need to form strategic alliances to help their clients compete successfully and operate internationally, understanding and dealing with complex government policies and shareholders demands. With this as a background, AALEP is intent on forging close links with private Indian lobbying firms that represent top private companies and lobby on their behalf with Indian policy makers.        

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