Speech of Sri R. Bandyopadhyay, Secretary Ministry of Corporate Affairs
On the Concluding function of “India Corporate Week -2009” On 21-12-2009, at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi
Your Excellency, the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil; Hon’ble Minister Shri Salman Khurshid, Dr. Swati Piramal, President, ASSOCHAM, Shri Harsh Pati Singhania, President, FICCI, Shri Hari Bhartia, President designate, CII, Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Member, Board of Trustees of National Foundation for Corporate Governance, distinguished Members from the corporate sector, professional bodies, friends from the media, Ladies and Gentlemen.
A very Good Morning and Welcome to you all.
Today is a Red Letter Day in the history of the Corporate India, when after the glorious celebration of first-ever ‘India Corporate Week’ throughout the country, representatives of the entire Corporate Sector and the professionals associated with the corporate world, have assembled here for this concluding session, to listen to Her Excellency the President of India.
Exactly 37 days back, in the meeting of the extended body of the National Foundation of Corporate Governance under the chairmanship of the respected Corporate Affairs Minister, a decision was taken to celebrate the third week of December as the ‘India Corporate Week’. From the very beginning, we got tremendous response and enthusiastic support from the entire corporate sector. Commerce and Industry associations like CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHD Chamber, Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry, as well as from the professional institutions like, ICAI, ICWAI, ICSI and many other regional and state level organisations have all come forward to make it a success.
We are delighted to receive the reports of 124 events having been celebrated throughout the Corporate Week in different parts of the country, and today is the climax of the week, where Corporate India is honoured to welcome the President of India as the Chief Guest.
The theme for ‘The India Corporate Week-2009’ has been chosen as ‘Corporate Sector and Inclusive Growth’. As all of us are aware, the Corporate India has shown tremendous growth and development during the last two decades which has been acclaimed internationally. The challenge for us is to make this growth more inclusive. We in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs would like to encourage more companies being listed and bring in more and more retail investors. We have started a massive investor education programme where people from all walks of life whether they are workmen, farmers or businessmen, are invited through our advertisements to become a part and parcel of the growth process of the corporate sector. But we also want that the investors should be well-informed and empowered; should know their risks and rights. For this purpose, the Ministry has started three websites (www.iepf.gov.in, www.watchoutinvestors.com and www.investorhelpline.com) where the information relevant to the investors, are regularly uploaded. We have also been organizing more than 300 investor education programmes, in regional languages, throughout the country during this financial year with the help of professional institutes and NGOs.
In the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, we have taken the motto of “corporate growth with enlightened regulations”. Keeping this in mind, with the active support of commerce and industry organisations and professionals working in this field, we have prepared “Voluntary Guidelines for Corporate Governance” and “Voluntary Guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility”, which will be released today. As I said, these are voluntary guidelines and we expect the Corporate India to adopt the guidelines. Simultaneous evaluation of these guidelines and the experience of the Corporate India will be taken into consideration for further refinement of these guidelines in future.
Some of our corporate entities are already following an excellent practice of Good Corporate Governance and many of them are also engaged in implementing ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’
However, it is our belief that good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility are the two hallmarks for the sign of maturity and development of the Corporate India, and we are sure that Corporate India as a whole will not be found wanting in implementing these voluntary guidelines.
In recent times, Ministry of Corporate Affairs has taken a number of initiatives by introducing e-stamping with MCA-21 to further facilitate the e-registration of companies. We have also made the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Competition Appellate Tribunal (CAT) functional. We have enacted Limited Liability Partnership Act and issued the relevant rules. The new Companies Bill is now being scrutinized by the Standing Committee of the Parliament.
It has been our constant endeavour in the Ministry to consult the stakeholders, invite and welcome suggestions, recommendations and views from all quarters before revisiting any rules and regulations in order to make them in tune with the changing world.
Today’s event, Ladies and Gentlemen, is one of the rarest of the rare occasion when the representatives of the entire Corporate India and the professional bodies have come together with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to celebrate the closing function of ‘India Corporate Week 2009’. On behalf of the entire Corporate Sector and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, let me now welcome our very respected President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, with a unique flower bouquet.