Top Indian firms lack corporate responsibility strategy: KPMG survey

The report said although corporate responsibility seems to be in the experimental phase in India as of now, it is likely to see a significant progress in both the number of reporters and quality of information reported, in the coming years

New Delhi: Amid increasing focus on business transparency, a survey has said that only 16% of the top 100 listed firms in India have a corporate responsibility strategy (CR) in place, reports PTI.

Corporate reporting is in a nascent stage among leading Indian firms, and companies have “minimal clarity when it comes to choosing projects to be involved in”, according to KPMG India Corporate Responsibility Survey 2011.

The global scenario is much brighter, as 73% of the world’s 250 largest companies have defined objectives, 65% have key performance indicators related to set objectives and around 60% report on such identified indicators.

The top drivers for Indian companies reporting corporate responsibility, in terms of revenue ,are ‘strengthening reputation and brand’ and ‘ethical considerations’, while ‘cost savings’, ‘economic considerations’, ‘innovation and learning’ and ‘employee motivation’ rank very low in the drivers list.

However, for global companies, ‘economic considerations’ and ‘innovation and employee motivation’ are major drivers.

“Most companies start with a ‘me too’ approach with a focus on developing a good enough report. But during the journey many realise the benefits of embedding sustainability in terms of managing stakeholder expectations, finding alternative solutions to raw materials and fuels, designing benign products and services,” KPMG India director, advisory-climate change and sustainability services Arvind Sharma said.

Meanwhile, climate change has emerged as one of the most important global corporate responsibility issue amid pressure from media, consumers, investors, NGOs and the government.

Interestingly, only 23% of top 100 Indian firms report on the business risk of climate change, while, 26% report on the business opportunities related to it.

“It is an indication that the companies are focused on short-term goals and have not initiated focused actions towards addressing this issue in the longer term,” KPMG said.

The survey further said that companies are willing to seek third party opinion on their reports with 52% of reports being externally assured.

“It is interesting to note that most reports are externally assured and find value in third party opinion, especially from professional services firms such as KPMG.

This trend shows that companies are willing to change the way they run their business,” Mr Sharma added.

The report further said although corporate responsibility seems to be in the experimental phase in India as of now it is likely to see a significant progress in both the number of reporters and quality of information reported, in the coming years.

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Anna to leave Tihar jail today afternoon

Anna Hazare is likely to visit the Raj Ghat before starting his hunger strike for Jan Lokpal at the Ramlila Ground after 3pm. While the Delhi Police have given permission for a 14-day fast, Team Anna can get the fast extended, his aide Kiran Bedi said

New Delhi: Social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare will leave the Tihar jail Thursday afternoon and is likely to visit the Raj Ghat before starting his hunger strike for Jan Lokpal at the Ramlila Ground after 3pm, his aide Kiran Bedi said last night, reports PTI.

Ms Bedi said the government should get a fresh Lokpal Bill introduced in Parliament and have it passed ‘in accordance with aspirations of the people’.

Replying to a question, Ms Bedi said there was no pressure by the Delhi Police on Hazare to accept any condition.

“None of the conditions which we had earlier opposed relating to the number of people to be allowed at the protest venue and parking of vehicles were included in the Delhi Police’s permission for the 14-day fast by Hazare, which is a very good and sensible sign,” she said.

Ms Bedi said there is also no bar on extending the duration of Hazare’s protest from 14 days, she claimed.

“If necessity arises, Team Anna can get the fast extended,” Bedi added.

Ms Bedi said Neeraj Kumar, the director general of Tihar Jail, got the best medical attention for Mr Hazare during the latter’s stay in the jail.

Eminent cardiologist Naresh Trehan of Vedanta Medicity and government doctors would look after Mr Hazare during his protest, she said.

Bedi said Delhi police showed great ‘great understanding’ and she has always maintained that the city police was capable.

She said the Delhi Police, the Anna team and MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) would work together to prepare the Ramlila Ground for Hazare’s protest.

Lawyer Shanti Bhushan said he felt very happy that ‘ultimately good sense has prevailed on the government and it has agreed to permit Hazare to fast for 14 days”.

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Police relent; no restriction on crowd, offers 7 days protest

The fresh proposals came during the marathon discussions between Mr Hazare, his team and the Delhi Police. Initially, the police insisted only five days’ protest which was turned down by the activists who asked for permission for one month

New Delhi: Bowing before public pressure after Anna Hazare’s arrest, Delhi Police on Wednesday withdrew virtually all pre-conditions for the hunger strike by the Gandhian and his team in the Indian capital, reports PTI.

After the Hazare team indicated that it was ready to accept Ramlila Maidan as the venue for the protest, police reworked the conditions lifting restriction on the number of protesters and allowed them seven days agitation initially which could be extended later.

The fresh proposals came during the marathon discussions between Mr Hazare, his team and the police. Initially, the police were insisting that they could allow only five days’ protest which was turned down by the activists who asked for permission for one month.

Police had earlier denied permission to Mr Hazare to hold his indefinite fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park near Ferozeshah Kotla Ground after the 73-year-old social activist refused to give an undertaking that he would restrict his protest to three days and the number of protesters to 5,000.

Sources said the new proposals include lifting of restriction of the number of vehicles that can be parked at the protest venue and allowing a medical examination of protesters by a government doctor as well as a private doctor chosen by the Hazare team.

Earlier, the police had said a team of government doctors would examine Mr Hazare and others.

Sources said police can extend the number of days of protest beyond seven days. They said there was no restriction on the number of protesters and will allow protesters ‘to the capacity’ at Ramlila Maidan.

Asked whether the offer was acceptable, Mr Hazare’s associate Kiran Bedi said, “No, Anna is asking for 30 days’ permission for the protest which includes fast period.”

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