Announcement – ICAI issues Social Audit Standards

Social Audit Standards – Sustainability Reporting

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has issued the Social Audit Standards (SAS) for the members. These Social Audit Standards will be applicable from the date of their hosting on ICAI website. (SAS 100 should be read in conjunction with the “Preface to the Social Audit Standards” and “Framework for the Social Audit Standards”, issued by the ICAI

This Social Audit Standard relates to the thematic area of “eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality’’. The Standard aims to provide the Social Auditor with the necessary guidance in relation to independent impact assessment engagement of Social Enterprises engaged in eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality and the audit steps and procedures that should be applied while conducting the social impact assessment. The Standard sets out the minimum requirements to be followed while conducting impact assessment. Laws or regulations may establish additional requirements which should be followed, as applicable.

The Social Auditor should conduct a desk review of existing documents to gain further insight into the evaluation procedure and impact assessment.

The social auditor should review the evaluation questions addressed through Questionnaires, In – depth Interviews and Focused Group Discussions to assess the responses received from various stakeholders and to understand what has changed.

The Social Auditor should review the project/program documents to frame the evaluation criteria for assessing impact. Such key metrics may be collated from base-line, mid-line (monthly / quarterly) and end-line assessment (if available), respectively at the beginning, middle and end of the reporting period/project/program to effectively understand and evaluate impact.

The Social Auditor should identify the inherent limitations of the evaluation process which might have an influence on the impact assessment.

Source – https://resource.cdn.icai.org/72658srsb58573.pdf;

Source: https://www.taxscan.in/icai-issues-social-audit-standards/245984/

Notification – FSSAI – Instant Renewal of License/ Registration

FSSAI – Ease of Doing Business : Instant Renewal of License/ Registration

The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, (FSSAI) has issued a notification on 11th January 2023 regarding Ease of Doing Business: Instant Renewal of License/ Registration.

To streamline the process of licensing / registration and its renewal, Food Authority has decided the following:

With effect from 12th January 2023, Renewals of License and Registrations have been made instant [without requiring the approval of authorities] subject to the following:

(i)         No change in the existing details of the license/registration shall be allowed 

(ii)        Validity of the Renewal:

a) For License: This renewal of the license shall be for 1 year

b) For Registration: Renewal shall continue as per existing provision i.e. for 1-5 years, based on the selection and payment made by the FBO in the application.

(iii)       FBOs whose licenses/ registrations have been suspended/canceled, shall not be allowed to renew their license/registration.

(iv)       Further, i.e. November 10, 2022, the FoSCoS system ensures that FBO (Manufacturers and Importers) shah file annual returns with penalties (if any), before renewal, for FY 2021-22 onwards.

(v)        A declaration to be submitted by Food Business Operator (tick in the checkbox) has been added in FoSCoS as follows namely: –

a) I/We have complied with all the permissions/rules, which are applicable to my food business and the premises of the food business such as CGWA NOC etc.

b) I/We do not possess more than one active license/ registration for any other food businesses at the same premises.

Validity of the New License and Registration

New License – The Validity of the new License is now restricted to only 1  year instead of the existing provision

For Registration – Validity shall be continued as per the existing provision.

There shall be no late fee of Rs. 100 per day  

The renewal of license and registration shall be available as early as 180 days prior to the expiry date

Now FBOs are required to self – declare the compliance regarding the points in the inspection checklist at the time of renewal.

The Order shall be applicable on applications submitted on or after January 12, 2023

Source: https://www.fssai.gov.in/

Buyer Seller Meet

Indian Business Delegation for Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) in ASEAN Region covering Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines & Indonesia from 20th Feb– 04th Mar 2023

SEPC with the support of Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India and recommendation by EP Services Division, India is organizing India’s services sector trade delegation Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) to ASEAN region covering Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines & Indonesia from 20th Feb. – 04th Mar. 2023 covering following sectors which have demand in ASEAN region:

➢Hotel & Tourism Services
➢Educational Services
➢Healthcare Services
➢Architectural, Construction & Related Engineering Services
➢Entertainment Services (Including AVCG)

Benefits to participants on participating at BSM to ASEAN region.

• Focused prescheduled B2B meetings in each country
• Understand the market potential from experts in ASEAN region.
• Networking Opportunities with potential buyers in ASEAN region.
• Generate business leads and sign MOUs for collaborations.
• Meetings with relevant government and related stakeholders

The tentative programme for this BSM is given in Annexure A for your kind reference.

An estimate of expenditure heads which has to be managed by the participants are –

  • Flight tickets: For 4 countries, approximate cost would be INR ,1,59,000
  • Hotel stay: Approximately USD 130 -165 USD per night.
  • Total Cost approximately for all 4 Countries – INR3,35,000.

SEPC shall share the details of travel partners for this delegation with participants separately.

MAI Support to Participants:

SEPC registered Members whose export turnover during the previous financial year is less than/up to Rs.50 crores and who have completed one year of membership with SEPC will be eligible for assistance under new MAI scheme up to a maximum of Rs. 75,000/- towards economy class air fare, subject to terms and conditions of new MAI scheme and approval by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Registration Link: https://tinyurl.com/7v5byhr6

Announcement from NABH

LATEST NOTIFICATION FROM NABH ON IMPLEMENTATION PLAN OF 3RD EDITION OF NABH SHCO ACCREDITATION STANDARDS

Announcement from NABH

NABH has released a notification on implementation of 3rd Edition of NABH SHCO Accreditation Standards.

Key information from the notification is shared below :

The 3rd Edition of NABH SHCO Accreditation Standards along with the Guidebook has been released on 31st August 2022.

The effective date of Implementation of the third edition standards for SHCO would be as below:

a.     All accredited SHCOs must be in full compliance with third edition by 1st March 2023 and shall submit the documentary compliance for the same by this date. The onsite compliance shall be verified during next on-site assessment (which can be either surveillance or renewal assessment).

b.     All the assessments (Pre, Final, Renewal, Surveillance) shall be based on Third Edition w. e. f. 1st March 2023.

c.      For all the assessments before 1st March, 2023, decision shall be based on Second Edition. However, such SHCOs would require to comply with the Third edition in next six months from the date of accreditation.

d.     NABH will not accept any application (New as well as Renewal) on Second Edition Standard after 31st December 2022.

The whole process of transition will be completed 1st September 2024.

Source: https://nabh.co/

European Green Deal

European Green Deal: Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) Agreement

European Green Deal Announcement

Agreement reached on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
Brussels, 13 December 2022

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached this morning between the European Parliament and the Council on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The CBAM is the EU’s landmark tool to put a fair price on the carbon emitted during the production of carbon intensive goods that are entering the EU, and to encourage cleaner industrial production in non-EU countries.

Today’s agreement will be complemented by the revision of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), with negotiations taking place later this week, and that will align the phase-out of the allocation of free allowances with the introduction of CBAM to support the decarbonisation of EU industry.

Climate change is a global problem that needs global solutions. As the EU raises its own climate ambition, and as long as less stringent climate policies prevail in many non-EU countries, there is a risk of so-called ‘carbon leakage’. Carbon leakage occurs when companies based in the EU move carbon-intensive production abroad to countries where less stringent climate policies are in place than in the EU, or when EU products get replaced by more carbon-intensive imports.

By making sure that a price is paid for the embedded carbon emissions generated in the production of certain goods imported into the EU, the CBAM will make sure the carbon price of imports is equivalent to the carbon price of domestic production, thereby ensuring that the EU’s climate objectives are not undermined. The CBAM is designed in such a way that it is compatible with WTO rules.

President von der Leyen said: “I welcome the political agreement reached this morning on the Commission’s proposal for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. This is a central part of our European Green Deal, preventing the risk of carbon leakage. It is a huge step forward, as we raise our climate ambitions.”

Key elements :

The CBAM will initially apply to imports of certain goods and selected precursors whose production is carbon intensive and at most significant risk of carbon leakage: cement, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity and hydrogen. With this enlarged scope, CBAM will eventually – when fully phased in – capture more than 50% the emissions of the ETS covered sectors. Under this political agreement, the CBAM will enter into force in its transitional phase as of 1 October 2023.

The gradual phasing in of CBAM over time will allow for a careful, predictable and proportionate transition for EU and non-EU businesses, as well as for public authorities. During this period, importers of goods in the scope of the new rules will only have to report greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) embedded in their imports (direct emissions), without making any financial payments or adjustments. The agreement foresees that indirect emissions will be covered in the scope after the transitional period, on the basis of a methodology to be defined in the meantime.

Once the permanent system enters into force, according to a schedule to be defined in the revised EU ETS rules currently under negotiation, importers will need to declare each year the quantity of goods imported into the EU in the preceding year and their embedded GHG. They will then surrender the corresponding number of CBAM certificates. The price of the certificates will be calculated depending on the weekly average auction price of EU ETS allowances expressed in €/tonne of CO2 emitted.

A review of the CBAM’s functioning during its transitional phase will be concluded before the entry into force of the definitive system. At the same time, the product scope will be reviewed to assess the feasibility of including other goods produced in sectors covered by the EU ETS in the scope of the CBAM mechanism, such as certain downstream products and those identified as suitable candidates during negotiations. The report will include a timetable setting out their inclusion by 2030.

Next steps

Given the close links between the new CBAM and the review of the EU ETS, currently under negotiation in ‘trilogue’ between the co-legislators, the final technical details of the mechanism’s functioning will need to be clarified. Once the text has been finalised, the European Parliament and the Council will have to formally adopt the new Regulation before it can enter into force.

Download here for full announcement

Source : https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_7719

World Standards Day 2022 Program

Webinar – World Standards Day (WSD) 2022 Program on Role of Sustainability Standards in International Trade on Oct 14, 2022 – 4 30 pm – 6 00 pm

Sustainable Trade Development and Voluntary Sustainable Standards

Sustainable Development defines international trade as “an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction, that contributes to the promotion of sustainable development”.

The exponential increase in global trade has enabled many developing countries to pursue economic development through export and export diversification. On the other hand, the nature of trade has changed and that products are now made by bringing parts together from different parts of the world.

Although the expansion of international trade, in the last decade, has brought economic and societal benefits across the globe, it resulted in failing to address the adverse social and environmental and even economic impacts.

Hence, in order for trade to become a ‘sustainable engine’, one approach that seems to be increasingly used is to internalize social, economic and environmental concerns in international trade.

Sustainability Standards play a central role in global trade, and greatly contribute to the improvement of  environmental and social compliance in supply chains. They represent guidelines used by producers, manufacturers, traders, retailers, and service providers to develop good environmental, social, ethical, and food safety practices.

Sustainability standards can unlock new markets for developing countries.

Go Green, Go Sustainable

More and more countries are pursuing green, social and/or sustainable public procurement, therefore standards can play an important role in identifying which products are sustainable.

Adhering to sustainable trade standards can enhance opportunities for market access to retail, corporate and government consumers who are concerned about the sustainability of the products they purchase and the resources they consume in production, use and disposal.

Program Objective

Consultants Consortium of Chennai is organising a Knowledge Session, on the occasion of World Standards Day (WSD), on October 14th 2022.

The program is designed on the topic Sustainability Standards based on the WSD Theme.

Objective of the program is to create awareness to businesses about various National and International Sustainability Standards and hoe implementing the same would increase trade and business opportunities across the globe.

Program Details

Topic – Role of Sustainability Standards in International Trade

Date : October 14th 2022 – Friday

Time : 04 30 pm – 06 00 pm

Meeting Mode – Online / Virtual

Meeting Platform – Zoom

Fee : No Registration Fee.

Program Open for industry and all stakeholders in Conformity Assessment. However, prior registration is a must.

Registration Link

Click the button below for registration

Upon registration, registered delegates will receive meeting link.

Contact

For enquiries, pls email to

contact@ccc-consultants.org

secretariat@ccc-consultants.org

Advisory for Minimum Essentials Fire Safety Measures

NABH – Advisory for Minimum Essential Fire Safety Measures for All Healthcare Facilities

NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals And Healthcare Providers) has issued an advisory recently on Minimum Essential Fire Safety Measures to be followed by healthcare organizations in the country.

This was the advisory for Minimum Essential Fire Safety Measures applicable to Healthcare Units under all schemes of Certification and Accreditation offered by NABH. These guidelines are meant to ensure patient safety and in no way absolves the organization of fulfilling its statutory obligations with regard to fire safety while implementing Certification, Accreditation Programs in the country.

The Advisory has listed out the scenarios where a Healthcare Organisation has Fire NOC, has No Fire NOC in place. The content of the advisory released by NABH is shared below for information purposes :

Advisory Content :

When the Healthcare Facility has Fire NOC in place, advisory calls for health facilities to check on the compliance to the minimum essential home Act/DHO fire safety measures are in place and or functioning.

Advisory says when the Healthcare facilities don’t have Fire NOC , following steps have to be addressed by a healthcare organisation :

  • Approval/Registration from local health authority Eg: Nursing home Act/DHO
  • If Fire NOC is not applicable, organisation has to provide valid justification for the same.
  • If Fire NOC is applicable, confirm that the organization has applied for fire NOC and there is regular correspondence (at least once in three months) with fire department which is acknowledged. Any correspondence received from the fire department has to be submitted.
  • In the absence of Fire NOC, Third Party Inspection Certificate should be made available.
  • The third-party audit should provide evidence to suggest that statutory norms are adhered to Any Observation by the third party should have been addressed.
  • The third-party inspection certificate is valid for a maximum period of one year
  • Head of the organization/Promoter to give an undertaking on the organization’s letter-head stating that fire safety measures are in place and adhered to at all times.
  • During assessment, verify that the points in the checklist are in place and are functioning

*NABH prescribes that Fire & Life Safety Inspection Certificates under NABCB accreditation issued by NABCB accredited Type ‘A’ Inspection Bodies for Fire & Life Safety Inspections of hospitals/health care providers shall be in accordance with the following:
a. National Building Code of India
b. Model Bill to provide for the maintenance of Fire and Emergency service for the state (2019)
c. Respective State Fire Safety Rules
d. NABH accreditation requirements for fire safety and applicable statutes
e. Any other applicable statutes.

Such Fire & Life Safety Inspection Certificates shall be accepted in lieu of statutory Fire NOC, only for consideration for the purpose of NABH accreditation. This does not absolve the hospitals/health care providers from complying to Fire NOC requirements/any other extent applicable statutes. It shall be sole responsibility of hospitals/health care providers to obtain Fire NOC, as applicable.

NABCB accredited Inspection Bodies shall be required to issue a final Fire & Life Safety Inspection certificate under NABCB accreditation bearing NABCB Accreditation Mark after the inspection is carried out and satisfactory corrective action and resolution of non-conformities, if any.

NABH accreditation requirements for Fire & Life Safety : (in addition to above)

  1. Firefighting equipment like wet riser, hydrants, auto sprinkler, fire alarm system, fire extinguishers of all types and sizes should be available as per table below (adapted from NBC 2016).
  2. Operational and maintenance plan for firefighting equipment including refilling of extinguishers.
  3. Up to date fire drawings to be available. Where applicable, the fire drawings should also specify the location of fire dampers.
  4. Fire detection and smoke detectors exist across all floors. The detectors shall be tested for functionality at regular intervals, and records maintained.
  5. Central fire alarm system is installed at a location which is staffed 24/7.
  6. Fire exit plan for each floor. Exit door should be openable and free from any materials which will obstruct way.
  7. Fire Exit signage on all floors well illuminated/ self-glowing, as per NBC guidelines.
  8. Emergency illumination system in case power goes.
  9. Designated place for assembly of patients and staff in case of fire.
  10. Mock fire drill records and schedule of conduct of drills.

Minimum Requirements for Fire Fighting Installations

Advisory can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

Source of the Information :
https://nabh.co/Announcement/Revised%20Advisory%20for%20Minimum%20Essential%20Fire%20Safety%20Measures%20-20.09.2022.pdf

Above advisory says that Healthcare organisations need to obtain a Fire and Life Safety Inspection Certificates from Third Parties – Type A accredited Inspection Agencies accredited by NABCB in accordance with NBC 2016 and various other Regulations as mandated under various statutes, Rules, laws of centre , state etc

Hospitals , Healthcare Institutions have to look out for Type A Inspection Bodies (IBs) accredited by NABCB if they don’t have Fire NOC to seek Fire and Life Safety Inspections. Type A IBs have to obtain necessary accreditation scope as per various regulatory requirements, standards in the country. These IBs may have to seek accreditation as per IAF Code 34 ; NACE Code 71 which addresses the Inspection of Buildings activities

At the moment NABCB Accredited IBs with above IAF Scope are not found NABCB Registry. Few IBs may seek Accreditation under above scope to cater to the requirement specified by NABH in future. Healthcare organisations have to refer NABCB’s Registry for more updates on the accredited IBs list.

It’s a good move to encourage healthcare businesses to show compliance and adherence to Regulatory, Statutory requirements by offering Safety and Assurance to the users of healthcare facilities and Employees as well.

Heal in India

Heal in India – Govt plans interpreters, special desks at 10 airports for ease of overseas patients

‘Heal in India’ – Government is likely to announce the initiative on August 15 2022.

The ‘Heal in India’ initiative aims to positioning the country as a global hub for medical and wellness tourism.

Interpreters and special desks at 10 airports, a multi-lingual portal and simplified visa norms are going to be the highlights of the government’s ‘Heal in India’ initiative to boost medical tourism.

The government has identified 44 countries, predominantly African, Latin American, SAARC and Gulf countries from where a large number of people visit India for medical purposes. The 10 identified airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Guwahati — see higher footfalls of patients from these 44 countries

The Health Ministry, in collaboration with the National Health Authority, has developed a multi-lingual portal which would be a one-stop shop for services provided by medical travel facilitators and hospitals with an interface for foreign patients. The portal is also likely to be launched on August 15.

The portal will display standardized package rates based on the classification of hospitals and different systems of medicines including modern and traditional systems. It will also have a grievance redressal section as well as an option to submit patient feedback.

There will also be a mechanism to track patient journey by creating a unique health ID under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission framework and monitor service delivery in identified health facilities in India

Source:https://m.timesofindia.com/business/india-business/heal-in-india-govt-plans-interpreters-special-desks-at-10-airports-for-ease-of-overseas-patients/articleshow/93408941.cms

Consumers to ensure they purchase Products bearing ISI Mark

Over 450 products under the ambit of mandatory certification

For a number of products, compliance to Indian Standards is made compulsory by the Government of India taking into cognizance various considerations viz. public interest, protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of environment, prevention of unfair trade practices and national security.

As on date, over 450 products are under the ambit of mandatory certification.

Consumers must ensure that they purchase these products bearing ISI Mark.

The key consumer products under mandatory certification include Cement, Electric iron, Electric immersion water heater, Domestic Food Mixer, Switches, Helmets, Domestic Pressure Cookers, Automotive tyres, Tubes, Packaged drinking water, LPG stoves, LPG cylinders, Toys etc. The key consumer electronic products under compulsory certification include Mobile phones, Laptops, TV, Power adapters, Power banks, Digital camera etc.

For these products, the Government makes it mandatory for manufacturers to follow Indian Standards and obtain BIS certification. The Indian Standards formulated by BIS form the basis for Product Certification Schemes, which provide Third Party Assurance of Quality of products to consumers.

BIS implements Quality Control Orders (QCOs) issued by the Government which ensure that the notified products conform to the requirements of the relevant Indian Standard(s).

The information on QCOs issued by the Central Government can be obtained from BIS website (www.bis.gov.in) under the following link Conformity Assessment -> Product Certification -> Products under Compulsory Certification.

After the date of commencement of the QCO, no person can manufacture, import, distribute, sell, hire, lease, store or exhibit for sale any product(s) covered under the QCO without a Standard Mark except under a valid certification from BIS. As the QCOs are equally applicable to Indian manufacturers as well as foreign manufacturers, the Indian consumers are assured of the quality of such products manufactured in India as well as imported to the country.

QCOs are issued by various Line Ministries (Regulators) under the Central Government depending upon the product(s)/ product categories being regulated through the Order, after having stakeholder consultations. Any person who contravenes the provisions of the Order shall be punishable under the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 29 of the BIS Act, 2016 with imprisonment or with fine or with both.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1847501
Posted On: 02 AUG 2022 5:57PM by PIB Delhi

Outcome of COP26 for India and Abroad

Outcome of COP26 for India and Abroad – Webinar from Service Export Promotion Council

Announcement from SEPC :

We are Organising a webinar on COP26. A business unit can sell its carbon points and gets incentives on financing and special offers in most of the member countries.

Any kind of environmental steps that a company takes is monetary benefit to them, especially if they are exporting. How to do this can be learnt through this session . Plus there will also be a session on all services and incentives by SEPC.

Registration Link

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LBV79wNvRyOaFET1oIRidQ