Code of ethics low in Indian industries, says NHRC

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Indian industries' criteria for social and ethical aspects are yet to reach the desired level of sophistication and comprehensive coverage, a recent study by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said here Friday.

"In a study conducted last year among 20 industries in diverse sectors, it was found that corporate ethics are much needed to stress the importance of sustainability, social development, stakeholders, consumer satisfaction and service orientation in place of profit orientation," an NHRC statement said.

The commission conducted a year-long study and collected data from 20 diverse sectors of industries in different parts of the country and has come out with the "Code of Ethics for Indian Industry".

According to the commission, "large number of managers (89 percent) were not aware of details like extent of spending on the corporate social responsibility. Almost 50 percent of the organisations lacked in transparency, as they did not disseminate their policies to the workers".

The findings of the study also said that many participating organisations spoke about the issue of corruption and stated that it had become "a low-risk, high-profit business".

As per the code of ethics by the commission, equal opportunities should be given to all qualified employees, regardless of their race, caste, gender, religion for their inclusive growth and welfare.

"It is required that companies strive for providing a safe, healthy, clean and ergonomic working environment for their employees and indirect workers," the statement said.

Recommending to respect the rights of whistle-blowers, the commission asked industries to allow employees to raise their concerns to the top management without fear and intimidation.

"The study by NHRC is aimed at providing the industry some guiding principles to make a positive dent on the business and human rights to ensure improvement in social, economic and cultural values of society," the statement added.

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