15

May

0

SEBI releases FAQs for Business Responsibility Reporting

by Harsha Yadav

SEBI, in its circular dated dated August 13, 2012, mandated inclusion of Business Responsibility Report (BRR) as a part of the Annual Report for top 100 listed entities. This was in-line with the ‘National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and  Economic Responsibilities of Business (NVGs)’ as notified by Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Govt. of India.

While this move was welcomed by the watchdogs, development sector, businesses and shareholders alike, there was confusion for specific cases among the organisations planning to release a report. Based on various queries received from these organisations, SEBI has released this FAQs to provide some answers.

You can download the complete document from SEBI’s website here.

Summarising the content of the FAQ’s, these are the basic rules/guidelines we can think of to help you file your Business Responsibility Report well:

1. While Business Responsibility Reporting is mandatory for all the top 100 listed companies, other companies are encouraged to report as well.

2. Try to stick to the format prescribed by SEBI. This is to ensure that data being reported across companies can be compared. Deviate from the report format only if must, but that also should be comparable to other companies’ data & quality. Companies can always provide additional information that is not covered in the Business Responsibility questions but is important for disclosure and can enhance the quality of information.

3. Business Responsibility Report has to be published along with the company Annual Report and should be kept accessible in a public space like the company website. Additionally, Business Responsibility Report has to be furnished to the Stock Exchange where it is listed in electronic format.

4. BRR applies to all companies irrespective of the sector and is mandatory to all top 100 listed companies, irrespective of whether it is a holding company or a subsidiary company.

5. In case of an MNC which has its subsidiary in India and which produces a single Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) report, the subsidiary is required to prepare its separate Business Responsibility Report highlighting the responsible business practices it has put in place in India. In case of an Indian listed company that already publishes a GRI report for its operations, they need not prepare a separate report but only furnish the same to their stakeholders along with the details of the framework under which their Business Responsibility Report has been prepared and a mapping of the principles contained in these guidelines to the disclosures made in their sustainability reports.

6. Failure to provide Business Responsibility Report will be construed as non-compliance with Clause-55 of Equity Listing Agreement. However, no particular level of compliance with NVG has been mandated.

 

More information including clarification on each principle can be taken from the document directly.

 

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