India has been named among the top ten Asian countries who are paying an increasing importance towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure norms, a survey says.
According to social enterprise CSR Asia's Asian Sustainability Ranking (ASR), India was ranked fourth in the list, which was topped by Australia.
The other countries in the list include China (second), Hong Kong (Third), Japan (fifth), Malaysia (sixth), Pakistan (seventh), Philippines (eighth), Singapore (ninth) and Thailand (tenth).
The 2009 ASR list was dominated by Australian companies, with eight out of the top ten companies analysed coming from there, followed by India, the survey said.
However, the report further said although there are increasing levels of disclosure in the Asian region, it still is generally poor compared with Europe and North America.
"In India we find surprisingly high levels of disclosure, particularly from large companies with recognised brands such as Tata and Infosys. Leading oil companies (such as ONGC and the Indian Oil Corporation) also have reasonable levels of disclosure," the report said.
After Australia, the companies in India have the second highest rating for disclosure overall. Part of the reason for the good disclosure by the leading Indian companies might be related to their size and global spread.
In contrast, the government-linked companies in India are among some of the worst in this regard.
The top ten companies in India's CSR rankings include Tata Consultancy Services, ITC Ltd, Infosys Technologies, Larsen and Toubro, Reliance Industries, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharti Airtel, Steel Authority of India Ltd and NMDC Ltd.
Indian firms are most transparent in terms of governance, policies and codes of conduct. They also provide more information than most companies on issues relating to community impact and development. Disclosure on environmental issues is also relatively high, the report said.
CSR India is a leading social enterprise that focuses on sustainable business practises in Asia.