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Environmental Impact Assessment & Corporate Governance

Environmental Impact Assessment: New Version in pipeline

Ministry of Environment proposes to re-engineer the existing EIA Notification

•   The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change proposes to re-engineer the existing Environment Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) notification and introduce a revamped one;

•   In this context, the Ministry has prepared a draft known as the “Zero Draft” and the same has been sent to all states for comments;

•  The amendments proposed are a result of the Ministry’s experiences over the years while implementing the environmental laws;

•   However, the Environmental Activists are looking at it as a way of diluting environmental laws in the name of ease of doing business

•    The major changes proposed are:

•    Allowing district level authorities to seek exemptions from public hearing while granting green clearance for sand mining areas upto 5 hectares of land.

•    Exempting irrigation projects with less than 2000 hectares of command area and industrial projects dealing with non-toxic chemicals from the environmental impact assessment;

Ethics & Compliance: NSE takes strict action in view of SEBI guidelines

Fines imposed on 250 plus companies for non-compliance with the listing regulations

•   The National Stock Exchange (‘NSE’) has penalised more than 250 companies for non-compliance with the listing regulations for quarter ending with March 31, 2019;

•     According to NSE data, the aggregate of the penalties imposed on these companies is more than 8.84 crore;

•    Penalties of Rs. 4.5 Lakhs have been imposed on as many as 31 companies for flouting Regulation 17 (Composition of Board of Directors) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015;

•    SEBI in May’18 had come up with a mechanism to check the non-compliances of the companies with the listing conditions, wherein the exchanges had been empowered to freeze the promoter shareholding and even de-list the shares of the defaulting companies. Further they had also been empowered to penalise the non-compliant companies, move the stocks of the such companies to the restricted trading category and suspend such firms from trading with their shares;

•    Non-compliance with the composition of the Board of Directors is one of the grounds for suspension from listing;

Compliance Takeaway: All companies should have a Compliance and Ethics Committee or a strict compliance checking mechanism to ensure zero non-compliances and continue to run a hassle free business.

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