Green Initiative in Corporate Governance – I see a risk to investor interests

I have been receiving this letter from different companies in the last few weeks. I am happy to see the green initiative. But I have a couple of concerns and I read the circular at http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular_27-2011_20may2011.pdf

1. No one seems to ask investor what is the new system he wants. Atleast I am not aware of the same. it is good initiatives to change the system, but have the risks been evaluated and mitigation plans done.
2. From a time perspective, i used to read annual reports quite late fater they come. Thanks to my father giving my techniques to intepret the same. Today it would be difficult to plan my time and read on computer. It would have been nice if they could send an email with highlights in pdf and a link to their website where annual report id place.
3. Is is possible that the document published in the website can be doctored later? I am sure our companies are ethical. But there are companies like Satyam?
4. Can all these companies build a central site where they can place a copy of the published documents in addition to their own website? The money for this website can be funded by all these companies and it would help investors
5. In the same way, all company annual general body meetings can be published in calendar style formats with a link to the resolution. There should be e-voting system portal made possible so that minority share holders can have their say in the system

Effectively these should be on a server that is under control of SEBI( the companies pay a regular maintenance fee to cover expenses).

Dear Shareholder,
Ref: Folio / DP Id & Client Id No:

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) has initiated “Green Initiative in Corporate Governance” which provides for paperless compliances by companies through electronic mode. In accordance with MCA’s recent circulars bearing no.17/2011 dated 21.04.2011 and 18/2011 dated 29.04.2011, companies can now send documents and various other notices (including notice calling Annual General Meeting, Audited Financial Statements, Directors’ Report, Auditors’ Report etc) to the shareholders through electronic mode to the registered e-mail addresses of shareholders.

This is a golden opportunity for every shareholder of (“Company”) to be a part of this Green Initiative.

In the spirit of the circular issued by MCA, we propose to henceforth send documents like the Notice convening the General Meetings, Financial Statements, Directors’ Report, and Auditors’ Report etc. in electronic form, to the email address provided by you and made available to us by the Depositories.

Following the Ministry directive, the Company shall display the full text of these documents / reports referred above at its website. As before, physical copies of the Annual Report will be available at our registered office, for inspection during office hours.

In case you desire to have a different e-mail id to be registered, please update the same with your concerned depository on or before May 31, 2011.

In case you wish to receive the above mentioned documents in physical form, you are requested to click here

We are sure you would appreciate the “Green Initiative” taken by MCA and your Company’s wish to participate in such initiatives.

Needless to mention, as a valued shareholder, you are always entitled to request and receive, free of cost, a printed copy of annual report of the Company and all other documents.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

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