President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said company secretaries must ensure that stakeholders understand the difference between profit and profiteering, while fostering responsible business and balance economic objectives with larger socio-economic goals.
Addressing the 51st foundation day of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), he said, "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."
Kovind said company secretaries play the role of a governance professional and an internal business partner and they must foster "responsible business and balance economic objectives" with larger socio-economic goals.
"And they must deliberate on issues where we need to improve, so that mistakes or limitations of the past are adequately addressed," he said.
The president further said 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.
He stressed that 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, he said, and added that in this effort, how they implement company laws in a transparent manner has a critical bearing.
Kovind also told the gathering 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, he said.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arjun Ram Meghwal and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur were present at the event.
ICSI is a premier professional body set up under an Act of Parliament for the regulation and development of the profession of company secretaries in India.
It has over 59,000 members and about 3.5 lakh students on its roll.
The institute focuses on best and top-quality education to students of company secretaries course and best quality set standards for its members.