MCA issues National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) has formulated the National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (“NGRBC”) which comes as a revision to the existing National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011 (“NVGs”).

Among other things, the NGBRC urge businesses to promote inclusive growth and equitable development and to:

  • Conduct themselves with integrity, and in an ethical, transparent, and accountable manner.
  • Provide sustainable and safe goods and services along with ensuring responsible engagement with their customers.
  • Respect the interested and well-being of all their stakeholders and employees.
  • Respect and promote human rights and make efforts to protect and restore the environment.
  • Be responsible and transparent while engaging in public and regulatory policy.

The MCA is also in the process of developing a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (“NAP”) in consultation with various ministries and states and plans to release the same by 2020. A Zero draft of India’s NAP has already been made available by the ministry.

Quick View:

The NGBRC are yet another addition to a series of initiatives from the MCA to ensure responsible business conduct by companies. It is important for businesses to follow the changes in the State’s outlook towards business conduct so as to prepare themselves for any upcoming statutory amendments or policy shifts. Also, as good corporate practice, businesses should also ensure that they conduct themselves in a socially and economically responsible manner.

 

Cabinet approves National Policy on Software Products – 2019

The Cabinet has approved the National Policy on Software Products – 2019 (“Software Policy”) with the intention of developing India into a leader in developing software products. The Software Policy aims to increase innovation in this sector in addition to creating substantive employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Some of the salient features of the Software Policy are:

  • The Government of India has proposed to spend INR 1,500 Crore to implement the policy over the next 7 years;
  • The Software Policy aims to create 3.5 million jobs in Tier II and Tier III cities by 2025.
  • The Software Policy provides easy access to the Government eMarketplace (GeM), the national public procurement portal.

Quick View:

The new policy comes as a major advancement for the Software as a Service (SaaS) ecosystem in India and is expected to greatly benefit domestic SaaS companies while simultaneously increasing international trade in software products. It also paves the way for the government to further promulgate additional schemes in the software product industry.