23 May 2013 – New Delhi, India
Coorganised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the OECD, this seminar brought together leading Indian companies, representatives of the Government of India, Indian civil society, and the OECD, to talk about corruption challenges facing Indian companies today, and what can be done to overcome these challenges.
Indian industry is the underpinning of India’s recent major economic growth, and to maintain the long-term growth and stability of the Indian economy, Indian companies must be held in the highest repute globally for transparency and fairness. The participants firmly believe that in order to prevent corruption in business transactions, Indian companies need to adopt sound internal controls, ensure legal compliance, and implement effective ethics and governance measures. International standards, such as the OECD Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance, are a useful resource for this purpose. Large companies in India are already making strong efforts in this regard. However as in all countries around the world, SMEs need more support and advice from business associations and the government, due to their limited resources.
The Government of India also has a responsive role to play in providing a strong regulatory environment that supports efforts of Indian industry to engage in clean business in India and abroad. We therefore welcome that India has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and engages closely with the OECD on the Convention on Combating the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. India is encouraged to apply the standards in these conventions through the swift passage of the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials Bill, the Whistleblower Protection Bill, and the new Companies Bill through Parliament.
Furthermore, actions taken collectively by Indian industry, the government, civil society, and international organisations to combat corruption are welcome and encouraged. Through cooperation, mutual support and an effective judiciary, it is possible to combat corruption more holistically. Joint efforts effectively address corruption in complex areas involving various stakeholders, such as public procurement, including procurement funded by development aid funds.
The participants therefore affirm their commitment to continue to work together to ensure fair and transparent business deals in the Indian domestic market. They also strive to ensure that Indian companies maintain the same high anti-corruption and ethical standards when they export and invest abroad.