Sebi chief hints at enhanced ESG rules

MUMBAI: Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi on Wednesday said that Indian legislation was ahead of the curve in formulating rules for adoption of practices that promoted ESG (environment, sustainability & governance) by the corporate sector. The top markets regulator further pointed out that Sebi was also ahead of the curve in formulating rules to promote ESG practices for its regulated entities as early as 2012 and recently enhanced it with a new code. He hinted at enhancing some of its ESG rules and codes to be in tune with global investing & regulatory practices. Tyagi warned about ‘greenwashing’, a practice through which corporates and other entities take a path that seemingly promotes ESG, but the results do not reflect the same. The Sebi chief said ESG-focused funds in India will have to adhere to an investing process under new rules that will require these to invest only in those companies that follow the regulator’s Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). Tyagi was speaking at an even organised by industry trade body Ficci. Tyagi also hinted at some forthcoming changes to how listed Indian companies carry out their ESG initiatives. He said the international forum for securities regulators, International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), is in the process of publishing its report on ‘ESG Ratings and ESG Data Providers’, which would include recommendations on these entities, along with regulatory and supervisory approaches with respect to the same. He said that Sebi was keenly watching international developments in this space and would soon take a call on the same.

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