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BW Businessworld

What A Non-Event!

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 The India corporate week, organised by the corporate affairs ministry from 14-21 December 2009, turned out to be a waste of time.

Given that the event coincided with the anniversary of the country’s biggest corporate fraud at Satyam, the industry expected some serious policy announcements on corporate regulatory reform or an action plan to check corporate fraud.
The only notable ‘achievement’ of the event was the release of a booklet on voluntary guidelines for corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, the 10-page booklet does not offer any fresh ideas.
While the CSR guidelines read more like text books in management schools, the governance guidelines were based on the Naresh Chandra committee report.
The CSR guidelines occupied three pages; seven pages contained ‘messages’ from the minister and his bureaucrats.
Officials in the corporate affairs ministry maintained that the ministry’s role was merely that of an anchor and that the ministry did not spend too much money on the week-long celebrations.
During the week, as many as 130 programmes were organised across India by trade bodies such as CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India), Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), etc.
The week-long ‘effort’ by the ministry to enlighten India Inc. about the need to change and reform ended up more like a year-end revelry and networking opportunity for the participants.
(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 04-01-2010)