ASSOCHAM hosts International Virtual Summit on “India Corporate Governance Stewardship”

Thursday, September 10, 2020

New Delhi, 10th September’2020:
To discuss and deliberate on corporate governance policies, programmes, laws, standards and benchmark global best practices and thereby keeping the managements, boards, promoters and stakeholders stay tuned and sensitized for maintaining the good governance in letter and spirit even during the tough times, ASSOCHAM has organized International Virtual Summit on “India Corporate Governance Stewardship” today.
 
The Chief Guest of the conference was Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Ministry of Finance, GOI and Guest of Honourwas Dr. M. S. Sahoo, Chairman, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India. The other prominent panelists including CS Ashish Garg, President, ICSI, Mr. Ashish Kumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange, Ms.Preeti Malhotra, Chairperson, Assocham national council for Company Law & Corporate Governance and many more from government department, corporate world and industries.
 
Addressing theconference Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Ministry of Finance, GOI, stressed on the need for adhering to the good principles of corporate governance. “Health of the economy is quite dependent on good corporate leadership. There is a need of good corporate governance practices so as to bring in as much transparency and accountability as possible. I feel that good corporate governance must be industry led and industry driven and they should always look at adopting the best practices in the field from across the globe.”
 
“Role of independent directors is crucial in good corporate governance and they should always work to make sure that no adverse decision is taken that is detrimental to the companies,” he added.
 
Dr. M. S. Sahoo, Chairman, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India said,“Companies today are the modern engines of growth and it takes years to bring up a company but today life of companies is in danger more than ever before. They have mainly three types of enemies today – one is danger from within, second is unfair battles at the market place, and the third is competition and innovation in the market place. So companies must always look at taking care of risks emanating from all these areas and also sudden ones like COVID”.
 
“Life of a company today is as precious as that of a human and on our part we are there and will try our best whenever there is any distress for a company or an issue to be resolved”, he added.
 
Dr. NiranjanHiranandani, President, ASSOCHAM said,“Since the advent of COVID 19, economies and businesses have suffered immensely all across the world and corporate governance will be of greater importance than ever before. Good corporate governance helps to avoid mismanagement, mitigate risks, and avoid potential conflicts of interest issues that have plagued many companies in India and abroad.Following proper corporate governance standards has made companies more accountable and transparent to investors and helped to minimize the defrauding of shareholders.Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, organisations were undergoing a massive digital transformation, close to 80 per cent of corporates were reported to have a digital initiative already underway in 2019 and this is only expected to have accelerated in a post COVID era.The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated challenges facing businesses. To tackle these growing challenges, and navigate the uncertain times ahead, the board of directors would need to make changes that have a long-lasting positive effect on the functioning of the business.”
 
Stressing on the need for a re-examination of corporate governance principles and board practices, Mr. Deepak Sood Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had fundamental and far-reaching impact on the way businesses conduct themselves. Indian economy and businesses would need to be on the lookout for any early warning signals that may further constrain its finances and help to prepare and update business forecasts on a real-time basis. In these extreme times, the board must act as the moral compass of the company and remind the management of the simple principles of behavioural ethics that result in the companies being ESG compliant. The board must ensure that management of the company provides full and fair disclosure to safeguard investors' interest, disclosing all risk factors, and reservations that the business may immediately face.”
           
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has put company finances under immense strain, the board must ensure the company management does not take ethically questionable steps that result in erosion of the moral values and reputation the company has built over years”, added Mr. Sood.
 
Ms. Preeti Malhotra, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM National Council for Company Law & Corporate Governance, and Chairman, Smart Bharat Group and Past President ICSI says, “It is in the best interest of all stakeholders that businesses are run with high degrees of ethical conduct and governance so that the business is both profitable and sustainable in the long run. Corporate governance is therefore critical to a company’s survival and longevity and the right tone must be set at the very top. Company boards, Independent directors, minority and institutional shareholders, investors and regulators, all have crucial roles to play in ensuring that corporates follow a robust culture one that is ethical and sustainable”.
  

About ASSOCHAM:
ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. It was established by promoter Chambers, representing all regions of India. Having in its fold over 400 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving over 4.5 lakh members across India. ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the Knowledge Based Economy. More information available on www.assocham.org
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