SEBI’s notification on integrated reporting a step in the right direction
The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in a bold move has notified the top 500 companies listed on National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to voluntarily adopt ‘integrated reporting’.
Oxfam India lauds SEBI’s acknowledgement of the fact that investors today seek both financial and non-financial information in taking an investment decision.
“Integrated reporting will embolden transparency among Indian companies and is an attempt to bring social disclosures closer to financial disclosures. It will however be important to ensure that this moves from being voluntary to mandatory in a defined time period,” said Oxfam India CEO Nisha Agrawal.
The top 500 companies are already mandated to publish Business Responsibility Report (BRR) starting from financial year 2017-18.
Recognising the guiding principles set by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) SEBI stressed on the interrelatedness and dependencies between various factors that determine a company’s value.
“Oxfam India along with other civil society partners has been advocating for greater transparency in the corporate sector. This move will help civil society in analysing the corporate disclosures better and in increasing corporate accountability towards the communities,” Agrawal said.
Oxfam India recommends that civil society organisations, community representatives and trade union representatives are also consulted as part of the integrated reporting rollout process. Defining material factors for industry sectors is also an area that requires leadership from SEBI and other business leaders.
Oxfam India in collaboration with Corporate Responsibility Watch, Praxis and Partners in Change advocates for improving quality of corporate disclosures as a means to improving business responsibility. India Responsible Business Forum (IRBF) is a platform that looks at business responsibility in the context of National Voluntary Guidelines (NVG) focusing on social inclusion. IRBF emphasises the significance of data in business responsibility decisions. Second edition of the index ranking the top 100 companies listed on Bombay Stock Exchange based on BRR disclosures will be launched on Feb 14 this month.
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