By Oxfam India
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The Hindu Businessline: We mean business, mostly

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Businesses are getting more socially inclusive, but more needs to be done.

Lack of financial transparency and social inclusion is at the root of India’s lopsided growth story, finds the India Responsible Business Index.

‘Sab kuchh dikhta hai (everything is visible)’, the tag line of the now controversial Rotomac pens seems to assume a sinister meaning in light of the recent financial fraud involving owners Vikram and Rahul Kothari.

The recently unearthed Nirav Modi scam, with no LoU [Letter of Understanding] lost, is another case in point. What began as corruption with the involvement of a few bank employees has snowballed into aroughly ₹12,000-crore racket.

In the race toward greater profit, the biggest casualty is transparency, not just in financial matters, but also commitment to inclusive growth. Nowhere is this more critical than in a country like India where crony capitalism is the unwritten rule of law. With the red carpet being rolled out to corporates continuously to improve the Ease of Doing Business ranking, there is a conscious attempt to ‘reform’ at the cost of the community — workers, supply chain, citizens and those affected by business operations, and those pushed out in the name of development.

The recent findings of the third round of the India Responsible Business Index (IRBI), developed through a collaboration between Praxis-Institute for Participatory Practices, Corporate Responsibility Watch, Oxfam India, Change Alliance and Partners in Change, highlight this malaise. The IRBI draws on the spirit of social responsibility outlined in the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Economic and Environmental Responsibilities of Business (NVGs), evolved in 2011 by the government of India. [Read More]