ICSI to develop corporate governance rating model

K. R. Srivats
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S.N. Ananthasubramaninan, President, ICSI, in the Capital on Wednesday. – Kamal Narang
S.N. Ananthasubramaninan, President, ICSI, in the Capital on Wednesday. – Kamal Narang

New chief sees Company Secretaries taking on managerial role

The Institute of Company Secretaries Institute (ICSI) plans to develop a model for corporate governance rating, its newly elected President, S.N. Ananthasubramanian, has said.

The Institute will build on its existing insights and exposure to governance practices in terms of the Corporate Governance awards that it has been giving for the last 12 years.

“We had developed a questionnaire and critically evaluated companies for handing out corporate governance awards. All the collective wisdom will now be tapped to develop our own rating model for corporate governance,” Ananthasubramanian said in his first interview after assuming charge.

This ICSI’s plan to develop a corporate governance rating model comes at a time when market regulator SEBI has released a draft consultative paper on the issue.

In the draft paper, the Securities Exchange Board of India has said only credit rating agencies may be permitted to undertake corporate governance rating.

Asked about the SEBI paper, Ananthasubramanian indicated that ICSI may approach SEBI to permit “even others” to do the rating.

There is a debate in certain quarters on why credit rating companies alone are permitted to do corporate governance rating. It is felt that the regulatory framework should also allow other entities, such as stock exchanges, to rate corporate governance.

In India, stock exchanges are still considered as first-level regulators.

Action plan

Meanwhile, the ICSI has chalked out a five-point action plan for the current year with the aim to equip company secretaries to meet the new requirements of the Companies Bill, 2012.

“We have to recognise the changed circumstances. When the context has changed, the text also has to change. We have to move from being ministerial to managerial. This is the role envisaged for company secretaries in the new Companies Bill,” he said, pointing out that a company secretary is part of the key management personnel in the new framework.

Ananthasubramanian wants company secretaries to adopt ‘responsible compliance’ as a mantra while being assertive and taking advantage of the enhanced role.

The Companies Bill seeks to provide ‘substantive oversight’ role to company secretaries as against a technical compliance role envisaged so far under the existing company law.

He also sees a scenario where a company secretary is appointed as a ‘chief governance officer’ in corporate India. “We want company secretaries to be moral beacons within corporate boardrooms”.

Besides coming up with a text book and a referencer on the new company law, ICSI will hold countrywide seminars on the Bill.

Plans are also afoot to use the television medium to create awareness about company law compliance. Training of directors will also get special focus, Ananthasubramanian said.

(This article was published on January 23, 2013)
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Union Budget 2014-15 Highlights

  • Following are the highlights of the Union Budget 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on July 10, 2014
  • Income-tax exemption limit raised by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh and for senior citizens to Rs 3 lakh
  • Exemption limit for investment in financial instruments under 80C raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
  • Investment limit in PPF raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
  • Deduction limit on interest on loan for self-occupied house raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.
  • Committee to look into all fresh tax demands for indirect transfer of assets in wake of retrospective tax amendments of 2012
  • Fiscal deficit target retained at 4.1% of GDP for current fiscal and 3.6% in FY 16
  • Rs 150 crore allocated for increasing safety of women in large cities
  • LCD, LED TV become cheaper
  • Cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco, aerated drinks become costlier
  • 5 IIMs to be opened in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan
  • 5 more IITs in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
  • 4 more AIIMS like institutions to come up in AP, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP
  • Govt proposes to launch Digital India’ programme to ensure broad band connectivity at village level
  • National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills proposed
  • Rs 100 cr scheme to support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations
  • Rs 100 cr for metro projects in Lucknow and Ahmedabad
  • Govt expects Rs 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes
  • Govt’s plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5.75 lakh crore and non-Plan at Rs 12.19 lakh crore.
  • Rs 2,037 crore set aside for Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called ‘Namami Gange’
  • Kisan Vikas Patra to be reintroduced, National Savings Certificate with insurance cover to be launched
  • FDI limit to be hiked to 49% pc in defence, insurance
  • Disinvestment target fixed at Rs 58,425 crore
  • Gross borrowings pegged at Rs 6 lakh crore
  • Contours of GST to be finalised this fiscal; Govt to look into DTC proposal.
  • ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme’ launched with initial sum of Rs 500 crore
  • Govt provides Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants
  • Set aside Rs 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalisation
  • Govt in favour of consolidation of PSU banks
  • Govt considering giving greater autonomy to PSU banks while making them accountable
  • Rs 7,060 crore for setting up 100 Smart Cities
  • A project on the river Ganga called ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ for inland waterways between Allahabad and Haldia; Rs 4,200 crore set aside for the purpose.
  • Govt proposes Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology
  • Expenditure management commission to be setup; will look into food and fertilizer subsides
  • Impasse in coal sector will be resolved; coal will be provided to power plants already commissioned or to be commissioned by March 2015
  • Long term capial gains tax for mutual funds doubled to 20%; lock-in period increased to 3 years
  • Rs 4,000 cr set aside to increase flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment.
  • EPFO to launch the ‘Uniform Account Number’ service to facilitate portability of Provident Fund accounts
  • Mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS (Employee Pension Scheme) raised from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000
  • Minimum pension increased to Rs 1,000 per month
  • Union Budget 2014: List of products getting cheaper/ costlier

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today spared the common man from price hikes by keeping duties on commonly used day-to-day items unchanged but made it costlier for smokers and tobacco consumers with a steep increase in excise rate in tax proposals in Budget 2014—15.
  • Following is a list of what will be cheaper and costlier:
  • CRT television
  • LED/LCD TVs especially below 19 inch
  • Footwear priced between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per pair
  • Soaps
  • E—book readers
  • Desktop, laptops and tablets
  • RO based water purifiers
  • LED Lights, fixtures and lamps
  • Pre forms of precious and semi—precious stones
  • Sports Gloves
  • Branded petrol
  • Matchbox
  • Life micro insurance policies
  • HIV/AIDS drugs and diagnostic kits
  • DDT insecticides
  • Cigarettes
  • Aerated drinks with sugar
  • Pan masala
  • Gutka and chewing tobacco
  • Jarda scented tobacco
  • Radio Taxi
  • Imported electronic products
  • Portable X—ray machines
  • Half cut/broken diamonds.


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