The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, graced and addressed the 51st Foundation Day of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India in New Delhi today (October 5, 2019).
Speaking on the occasion, the president said that in recent times, we have seen how some business enterprises have broken the trust of the people. Companies have either faltered or have come to a standstill. In the process, common people have had to suffer. He said that company secretaries play the role of a governance professional and an internal business partner. They must foster responsible business and balance economic objectives with larger socio-economic goals. They must ensure that the stakeholders understand the difference between profit and profiteering, and comply by laws. And they must deliberate on issues where we need to improve, so that mistakes or limitations of the past are adequately addressed.
The President said that the concept of corporate governance is complex but the principles on which it is based are clear and well marked. Transparency, accountability, integrity and fairness are its four pillars. Company secretaries should responsibly determine how these principles are put into practice. India has drawn a blueprint to enhance its brand value as a destination for international business and investment. In this effort, how they implement company laws in a transparent manner has a critical bearing.
The President said that an efficient, fair and just corporate governance system forms a key component of our nation-building matrix. And company secretaries have a seminal responsibility to fulfil on this account. Their integrity and honesty determines our commitment to a just society.