Showing posts from July, 2011

The Relevance of Corporate Sustainability for Indian Enterprises

Corporate sustainability is a paradigm that has been evolving rapidly and continuously. It never has a fixed definition; rather there is fluidity in its limits, and keeps expanding in all directions just like the universe does. The definition of sustainability, which was earlier defined by the Triple Bottom Line of John Elkington of environment, economics and society has been broadened and translated into other critical areas such as respect for human rights, corporate governance, fair trade ethics and stakeholder engagement, all of which do not in any way take away anything from the original components; instead, they can be considered to be a revised definition of the triple bottom line to match the need of the hour, as subsets of the original three sets laid out by Mr. Elkington about two decades ago. Today, corporate sustainability is an engagement process. It is a dialogue between companies and corporations with their customers, with their shareholders, with their employees, and wi

Land Acquisition in India and the Debate Going On

In the hoopla associated with the land acquisition, including attempted padyatras thaat have been capturing more than necessary headlines, considering the ruling disposition's double standards over the same (people forget that it was Jawaharlal Nehru who had revoked the Fundamental Right to Property when the tribal people had started to invoke it in courts against mining projects) a closer scrutiny is certainly required over the oh-so-controversial Land Acquistion Act of 1894 and the subsequent amendment that governments have been searching for more than a decade now. A major flaw associated with the Land Acquisition Act has been the lack of any proper rehabilitation package being promised under the original Act. Under the Act, there were provisions for compensation, but this was not linked to the market price of land, and is to be distributed through the local district magistrate's office in the form of actual handouts, a perfect system of this money disappearing. Moreover,

REC Mechanism in India - What is Wrong With It

I had attended a workshop on REC mechanism on June 17, 2011 in Delhi organized by the National Load Despatch Centre, which is supposed to be the nodal agency for this mechanism. Having started in 2010, it was indeed a unique learning experience to hear first hand from people involved in the process including people AB Power Infrastructure, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and National Board of Irrigation and Power as well as the representatives of Indian Power Exchanges (yes, we have two of those as well!) talk about the policy, the teething issues and listening to people clear their doubts and give their suggestions, which were duly noted. Any typical trade mechanism in the world is based on Coasian economics, about which I had discussed briefly here . In the case of the REC mechanism, the tradeable property or externality identified is the environmental credential associated with green energy, and it is a trade in this benefit which is surplus in some states while non-exist