CHENNAI: At a time when the government and civil society in the country are working to create new laws to fight corruption, the industry body Confederation of India Industry (CII) has come out with a Code of Business Ethics for its members.
According to CII, which has around 8,000 members including top corporate houses and small medium enterprises, the new code is designed to increase transparency and strengthen ethical practices among its member companies, which is expected to help reduce corruption in the country.
Adi Godrej, CII president designate and Godrej group chairman, said that a few members already had a code, but the new code would be a guide to all the members of CII. This would cover transparency in business-to-business and business-to-government transactions.
“This would cover all forms. The idea is that it’s not only the government that needs to work on this but also business,” he said.
“The way the code of ethics is designed, member companies of CII have to be issued it to all senior employees and they should follow this code of ethics”.
He said CII was the first industry body to introduce a code of corporate governance ten years ago, which had led to improvement in corporate governance in India. “Now we believe this would lead India, which ranks pretty low in transparency in global rankings, to come up,” Godrej said.
According to him, CII is the first industry body to bring a code of business ethics in the country. “Government action is also strong as we see it. The Lokpal bill is on the anvil. We believe both these together will increase transparency and probity,” he said.
CII has also mooted the idea of making the code of business ethics a part of the curriculum in schools and colleges, said Godrej.
(Business Standard, 7 July)