Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs has revised the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011 (NVGs) and formulated the National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC). These guidelines urge businesses to actualize the principles in letter and spirit.
These principles are:
1. Businesses should conduct and govern themselves with integrity in a manner that is Ethical, Transparent and Accountable.
2. Businesses should provide goods and services in a manner that is sustainable and safe.
3. Businesses should respect and promote the well-being of all employees, including those in their value chains.
4. Businesses should respect the interests of and be responsive to all their stakeholders.
5. Businesses should respect and promote human rights.
6. Businesses should respect and make efforts to protect and restore the environment.
7. Businesses, when engaging in influencing public and regulatory policy, should do so in a manner that is responsible and transparent.
8. Businesses should promote inclusive growth and equitable development.
9. Businesses should engage with and provide value to their consumers in a responsible manner.
In furtherance to updation of NVGs and formulation of the NGRBCs, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has constituted the Committee on Business Responsibility Reporting (BRR) to develop BRR formats for listed and unlisted companies. Non-financial reporting is increasingly forming the basis for enhancing investor confidence in businesses and increasing their creditworthiness. The Committee is to develop comprehensive yet simple formats situating the various stakeholders at the center so as to not increase or duplicate reporting burden. The proposed formats are to reflect linkages to prevalent non-financial reporting formats, viz, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Integrated Reporting (IR) etc., and SDGs from a NGRBC perspective.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is also in the process of developing India’s National Action Plan on Business & Human Rights (NAP) in consultation with various Ministries and State Governments by 2020.