Importance of having a resilient ESG strategy
ESG compliance has been climbing up the list of priorities on organizations’ board agenda. Over the past two years, the regulatory landscape has undergone a major change. The implementation of SEBI’s mandate to listed companies to include the BRSR in their annual reports on the stock exchange from 1 April indicates the regulatory body’s commitment toward the formal implementation of ESG programs. SEBI requires companies to not only identify ESG risks but also detail their mitigation strategy and contingency plans.
The year ahead will witness more oversight and stringent enforcement measures being taken against companies that fail to comply with these standardized as well as comprehensive disclosure requirements. Instances of misconduct, are likely to be highlighted through whistleblower complaints, leading to evaluation and pursual of tips to undertake corrective measures and stay on course.
New age frauds will continue to challenge organizations
Cybercrimes are at an all-time high around the world, with cybercriminals devising new ways to cheat organizations of tangible and intangible assets. The coming year will see a further proliferation in cyber risks, including transactions where cryptocurrency is involved. Non-fungible tokens are another area that will be targeted considering the exclusivity of these invaluable digital assets. To mitigate new age frauds in an increasingly digital era, there should be strong technological safeguards with multiple firewalls and security layers as well as protected work profiles to minimize business email compromises. Implementation of data loss prevention solutions can be a proactive step toward averting possible breaches.
Greater awareness of dispute resolution in the infrastructure sector and competition law
With growth opportunities galore and an influx of investments, the sky is the limit when it comes to the infrastructure sector. However, the inherent nature of the business with its complex engineering projects, long project lifecycles, differences in planned and actual scenarios, delays in approvals, acquisition of land, etc., along with disputes, claims, and potential litigations can be key impediments. One of the imperatives this year would be to make adequate changes not only in the structure of contracts but also reforms in legal frameworks to avoid stifling any growth opportunities at this time of rapid infrastructure development.
The Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) recent enforcement actions make it crucial for management as well as employees to avoid any anti-competitive behavior. Issues such as price-fixing, bid-rigging, antitrust risks, supply chain relationships, fines, and penalties need to be explained to employees across levels. Creating awareness of relevant laws and regulations among the workforce will also enhance the governance framework where employees can report or raise concerns in case of breaches or non-compliance.