Di­lut­ing li­a­bil­ity

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

THE MIN­ISTRY of Cor­po­rate Af­fairs has pre­pared a draft to up­date the Na­tional Vol­un­tary Guide­lines, aimed at help­ing busi­nesses be­come re­spon­si­ble ac­tors in so­ci­ety, but in the process ap­pears to have di­luted sev­eral of its pro­vi­sions. All its nine prin­ci­ples are worded in a way that gives busi­nesses enough lib­erty to find an es­cape route. While the ex­ist­ing guide­lines safe­guard own­ers of tra­di­tional knowl­edge and other forms of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, there is no such men­tion in the draft. About hu­man rights, it omits words like "vul­ner­a­ble and marginalised groups" and in­stead uses the vague phrase of "rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers". The min­istry is seek­ing pub­lic re­sponse till July 20 on the draft which is based on a re­port sub­mit­ted two years ago by a com­mit­tee set up by the gov­ern­ment. The re­vi­sion of the draft is aimed at mak­ing cor­po­rates re­spon­si­ble so that they help the coun­try meet its Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals and cli­mate change tar­gets.

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