The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, released the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business (NVGs), in 2011. It provided guidance to businesses on what constitutes responsible business conduct. In order to align the NVGs with the emerging global concerns, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (UNGPs), the guidelines were upgraded and updated as the National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC) in 2019.
In 2012, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) mandated the top 100 listed companies by market capitalisation to file Business Responsibility Reports (SEBI-BRRs/ BRR) through the Listing Agreement. These disclosures were intended to enable businesses to engage more meaningfully with their stakeholders, and encourage them to go beyond regulatory financial compliance and report on their social and environmental impacts. The requirement for filing BRRs was extended to the top 500 listed companies by market capitalisation from the financial year 2015-16. In March 2019, the updated NVGs were released as the ‘National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct’ (NGRBCs).
In December 2019, SEBI extended the BRR requirement to the top 1000 listed companies by market capitalisation, from the financial year 2019-20.
With the revised guidelines, the format for Business responsibility report has been revised. The BRR (Business responsibility report) will now be called the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR).
These disclosures may be made effective from the financial year 2021-2022 so that time is available for adaptation.