28, Dec 2023
Transparency Conquest: Recognizing Outstanding Performance in Reporting and Governance

Bengaluru, 28th December, 2023: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) recently hosted the prestigious SAFA Best Presented Annual Report Awards, Integrated Reporting Awards and SAARC Anniversary Awards for Corporate Governance Disclosure 2022 to recognize excellence in corporate reporting & corporate governance disclosures and to promote accountability, governance and transparency through the publication of timely and stakeholder friendly information and disclosures in SAARC region.

The event witnessed the benign presence of CA. Nihar N. Jambusaria, President, SAFA, CA. Aniket Sunil Talati, President, ICAI, Mr. Heshana Kuruppu, Vice President, SAFA, CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice-President, ICAI, Mr. Hussain Niyazy, Auditor General & President, CA Maldives, CA. (Dr.) Anuj Goyal, Chairman, Research Committee, ICAI, CA. Cotha S. Srinivas, Vice Chairman, Research Committee, ICAI, Central Council Members, ICAI, members of SAFA’s Committee for Improvement in Transparency, Accountability and Governance, Ms. Anoji De Silva, Mr. Md. Humayun Kabir and Mr. Sujan Shrestha, & CA. (Dr.) Jai Kumar Batra, Permanent Secretary, SAFA and Secretary, ICAI.

SAFA Awards.

SAFA, a Network Partner of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) comprises of eleven accountancy bodies in South-Asian Region with around 5 lakh members, is working in close association with ICAI as Permanent Secretariat of SAFA situated at ICAI Bhawan, New Delhi for betterment of accountancy profession in the Region. SAFA has been organizing Best Presented Annual Report Awards since 1996 in various categories. In addition SAFA has also initiated SAARC Anniversary Awards for Corporate Governance Disclosure since 2006 and Integrated Reporting Awards since 2015.

Awards presentation ceremony was preceded by a panel discussion on the topic “Best Reporting Practices” focusing on brief overview about the Best Reporting Practices adopted globally followed by the award ceremony.

SAFA Awards

This year Nominations were received from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka under 14 categories namely Private sector banks, public sector banks, life insurance, general insurance (non-life insurance), financial services, manufacturing, communication & information technology, service (excluding financial services & communication & IT sector), NGOs (including NPOs), agriculture, public sector, diversified holdings, power & energy, and infrastructure & construction. Apart from these 14 sectors, nominations were also received under two special categories, namely SAARC anniversary award for corporate governance and integrated reporting.

The Committee for Improvement in Transparency, Accountability and Governance (ITAG) had number of meetings to finalize the winners of SAFA Best Presented Annual Report Awards, Integrated Reporting Awards & SAARC Anniversary Awards for Corporate Governance Disclosure 2022. After a series of meetings, Conference Marking Session was held from November 24th to 29th, 2023 at Sri Lanka where the winners were decided and approved by the SAFA Board.

Evaluation process was based on various parameters such as statutory compliances, quality, nature and manner of presenting the information, reporting from a corporate governance perspective, sustainability reporting etc. In total 96 awards had been presented, out of which India outshined in Public Sector, Power Finance Corporation and NTPC Limited bagged the joint gold shield whereas RITES Limited was awarded silver shield. “Walton Hi-Tech Industries PLC” was declared as the overall winner from Bangladesh.

Sri Lankan Integrated Reporting was appreciated, and Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC and Softlogic Life Insurance PLC were conferred the Gold Shield and Silver Shield respectively. Infrastructure & Construction sector was excelled by Pakistan based corporates namely Luck Cement Limited-Gold, Cherat Cement Company Limited-Silver & Aisha Steel Mills Limited-Bronze, Nepal was bestowed the Certificate of Merit in Banking Sector etc. List of Awardees is enclosed as Annexure A.

The award ceremony witnessed the participation of more than 250 professionals from SAFA member countries and winners. During the glittering evening, the entities were honored with the awards with the hope that this will inspire all the organizations to achieve best in the reporting practices and disclosures.